The Siren Song of Social Media

When I was younger, I was the perfect homeschooler.

I didn’t have any electronic devices, unless you counted a Kindle Classic (you know, the kind that looks like paper and doesn’t have a touchscreen) and a digital camera.

Well, you know, things change. I have three screens now (and an iPod Shuffle if you want to be technical).

They say our phones are changing us. I say they should remember us poor homeschoolers and include Kindles (I have a Fire now); but regardless, it’s true that they’re a dangerous gift. Rather like fire, I suppose.

The assignment beckons with a stern finger, but that screen is right in front of you… and just one more blog post? Check Twitter again, maybe Instagram?

Bonfires are beautiful things. You can sit at the edge of the circle of rocks and stare into the depths of the flame… and it’s entrancing, dancing, always moving in a symphony of glowing colors.

But don’t get lost. Don’t lean in too close, or you’ll get burned.

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Entrancing, enticing, destroying. When you love something – even a good thing – more than you love God, it’s an idol.

We know that in our heads, and in our minds we understand that God is more satisfying than anything else in this world… but do our hearts sing that song in the moment we lean into the screen; when we say, just let me check my notifications one more time, and we neglect whatever task we’re called to in that moment?

I love my technology. I need it, after all, for writing (and online classes!), and I still rejoice at how God provided for my needs with a laptop. It makes me feel most professional to spread out at a table with laptop, tablet, and cell phone all glowing, earbuds snaking out of my pocket.

Yes, and I love fire as well, when it’s glowing under my marshmallow or warming my hands in the wintertime. But I’d rather it not take over. We’ve had enough wildfires here recently.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ (yes, I am a homeschooler), blogs. It’s just so easy to check them one more time, get lost in a trail of links! It’s like the sirens calling to Odysseus, luring him to a watery death.

We can’t ignore the music. It slithers around the fingers we stick in our ears and beats on our heads like drums. Rules and regulations, software and resolutions to spend only so much time on social media – those help the symptoms, but they’re not the cure.

We need a louder song.

We need God’s word to be such a part of our brains and hearts that when our apps call with their siren singing, we’ll see the beauty of Christ beyond them. We need open eyes, to behold His breathtaking love and glory – because He will bring us infinitely more joy than any Twitter feed or comment.

Our devices are tools, instruments we can use to play our song of praise. They are not our masters.

Let’s keep our ears attuned to the song of life.

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