I am always blown away when I hear about the effects of social media. At some point someone has to ask if anybody really thought that only positive outcomes exists. This is stated of course at the tail end Mr. Zuckerberg’s Congressional testimony regarding his company, Facebook.
Many teens, tweens, and their parents are found on Facebook. Really it is not uncommon to swap Facebook pages versus phone numbers now days. Have you ever thought that maybe this “Connection Giant” has hindered our kids more than helped?
The Bible says God created you and me for relationships. In fact, in Genesis 2 the Lord God said that it wasn’t a good thing for man to be alone. Shortly thereafter, God created Eve. So from the very beginning God intended for mankind to create relationships. It was further examined by one of the wisest men, if not the wisest man ever, King Solomon. In Ecclesiastes chapter 4 Solomon questions a man that was all alone. At the end, Solomon concludes that life is actually miserable when conducted outside of relations with others.
When it comes to students, friendships are a HUGE deal. My son came home a few months ago and asked, “Dad, will I still be cool if I don’t have a cell phone?” My answer was of course “Yes” but then my justification was based on the reality of friends and those we call friends. Plus, the cost of added him to the plan might have been persuasive enough.
In our days, many people lack real connections with others. We have the social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter along with other less popular. However, even with these connection tools we find ourselves living in a “Connected-Disconnected” world. Our 500+ friends on social media still results in majority of us going through life alone. Often time’s students find themselves to be going through life experiencing crowded loneliness. They have lots of followers but no real, true, and authentic relationships.
What can we do to change the disconnect? Solomon continues in Ecclesiastes chapter 4 relaying that there are benefits to true friendship. Students of today need, more than ever, solid and real mentor relationships to arise out of the church. Mentors to encourage hard work for good returns, support for times the students stumble in life, willingness to invest in their life, and help the students know they are not alone in this life. Perhaps our world would be different if the young people had beneficial relationships that they could mirror.
What can you do to support somebody younger and create friendships?