In the time of pandemic, all celebrations were curtailed, education becomes online and most business meetings became zoom meetings. A girl wanted to celebrate her 13th birthday. She wanted to invite friends, but could not due to lockdown restrictions. However, her parents wanted her to enjoy. Hence, they organized to have an online birthday party. The room was decorated, cake was cut, and parents sang wishes song. The celebration was steamed online in Facebook.
The girl was frequently checking the Facebook, if anyone had liked her birthday party and sent wishes? Only two likes in twenty-four hours; six in forty-eight hours. The girl was totally discouraged and felt abandoned by her friends. That age group of boys and girls have strong orientation towards their peers. Sadly, children and youth have become dependent on Social Media for their emotional and social needs.
1) Acceptance: All humans including teenagers long for acceptance, unconditional acceptance. Social media platform cannot provide this acceptance. If the ‘Like’ button is not clicked, they experience personal pain and consider it as ‘public condemnation.’ Those who come to Lord Jesus Christ in faith and repentance from sin become children of living God, accepted and sealed by the Holy Spirit. (John 1:12; Ephesians 1:13)
2) Inclusion: Believers belong to Lord Jesus Christ and member of body of Christ. (I Corinthians 3:23; 12:27) Children and young people engaging dynamically in Sunday School, youth and other church activities sense belonging to the Lord and the community of people of God.
3) Recognition: Sadly, children expect ‘Like’ clicks as recognition. A personal relationship with Lord, makes us recognized as ‘friends of God,’ which is more important than friends in the cyberworld. (John 15:15)
Parents, pastors, Sunday school teachers and youth leaders are responsible to teach truth to children to liberate them from the tyrannical face of social media. When they know the truth, they shall be free. (John 8:32) Though there are benefits using Social Media, it could be ugly and dangerous if not handled with wisdom and care.
Am I being liked, loved and lead by Lord Jesus Christ?