Social Media and Christianity

The Bible never says specifically that we shouldn't smoke, drink, do drugs, or gamble, but most Christian's discourage participation in these activities because of the harmful effects. We need to add one more to the list, social media.

Social media apps targets reward based behaviour which activates the brain's dopamine pathways, which are the same pathways that are hijacked by drugs, but are normally used to reward eating, sleeping, etc... The intended goal of these social media giants is to have you buy things from the companies that advertise on their platform.  It is true that this kind of advertising has been going on for years, so why should we be concerned now?

The difference is that companies now know so much more about how to manipulate you. In a article by The Guardian, it was reported that,
Facebook showed advertisers how it has the capacity to identify when teenagers feel “insecure”, “worthless” and “need a confidence boost”, according to a leaked documents based on research quietly conducted by the social network.
In another article by The Guardian, it is also reported that Facebook ran an experiment that demonstrated they could make people feel more positive or negative.
It has published details of a vast experiment in which it manipulated information posted on 689,000 users' home pages and found it could make people feel more positive or negative through a process of "emotional contagion".
 Wow! this is truly scary stuff. Not only does Facebook know what kind of emotions we are having, but they can also manipulate them. The problem is that Facebook and companies like them do not have morals, their purpose is to make money. What they consider ethical is anyone's guess, but I  can guarantee you it is not the same as Christians.

Unfortunately, these companies also want to monopolize your attention and the numbers show that they are incredibly successful. One study on mobile use showed that the average person touches their cell phone 2,617 times per day in 76 independent sessions for roughly 2.4 hours. That is a lot of time to be looking at your phone! I don't think any of us need a study to know that is true.

In summary, there are big corporation without souls who know our emotional state, can manipulate us, and have our undivided attention (they actually put us into a perpetually distracted state). They do this by designing their platforms to use the same pathways as addiction and they have radically different morals than Christians.

To be continued...


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