Social media is computer-based technology that facilitates the sharing of;
- Thoughts, and
through the building of virtual networks and communities.
By design, social media is internet-based and gives users quick electronic communication of content.
- Personal information,
- Videos, and
Users engage with social media via computer, tablet or smartphone via web-based software or web application, often utilizing it for messaging.
The first main communication network came in 1978 (43years ago) in the development of Bulletin Board Systems or BBSs. These online networks featured a text-only interface that you could use to interact with others through email, chat, and message boards
In terms of modern social media, Friendster was the very first proper social network. It was founded in 2002 and has over hundred million registered users, mostly from Asia.
What percentage of people use social media?
The current percentage of people using social media is 50.64%% of the world’s total population. However, when we look into platform penetration rates from people in eligible audiences, 83.36% of 4.57 billion global internet users and 90.71% of 4.20 billion mobile internet users are on social media.
- 3.96 billion people use social media worldwide, according to platform reports on the current number of active users
- 58.11% of the world’s population is active on social media when looking at eligible audiences aged 13+ years, rising to 82% in North America
- Out of 7.82 billion people in the world, 50.64% of the population use social networks, regardless of age or internet access
- Out of 4.57 billion internet users, 83.36% are active users
- Out of 4.17 billion mobile internet users, 90.71% are active users
- Out of 3.96 billion social media users, 99% access the websites or apps through a mobile device
Purpose of the social media
The four main uses of social media form the acronym SLIM:
Sharing: You can share information and ideas in a variety of ways. You can publish your own ideas in writing, with pictures, or through videos and voice recordings; and you can also share link to your friends on what you find interesting.
Learning: Social media can also serve as personal learning tools. You can get updates about your friends and family, or learn about what’s happening in your community and around the world. You can get breaking news.
Interacting: Social media break the traditional barriers of time and distance between people. With video chat technologies like Skype, you can talk to people face-to-face anywhere in the world. On Facebook and mobile devices, you can chat digitally and text with your friends and family. Twitter even allows you to interact with media members, public officials, professional athletes, and celebrities
Marketing: Businesses use social media to promote themselves and their products. Nonprofit organizations raise funds and promote charity events. Individuals market themselves to prospective employers. And you can use social media to promote ideas and events that are important to you
The negative effects of Social Media on youths cannot be overlooked and can be overwhelming. It can have harmful effects on the youths if not controlled. Some of these effects include:
- Lack of control of and over personal information: Youths post private information online without realising the associated risks.
- Cyber bullying
- Mental Health issues: depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and even suicidal thoughts. Social media may promote negative experiences such as: Inadequacy about your life or appearance.
- Lack of Morals
- Spread and ability to amplify Fake News
- Exposure to adult information
- Indirect encouragement of high rate of scam on social media
- Poor grades from the academic pursuits
- Long hours on Social Media platforms
- Peer pressure
- Addiction to social media
- Social Media Helps in Building Communities: It helps followers of various religions, nationalities and interests to form communities in order to discuss and spread the word.
- Social media has made it easy to make friends; A big positive associated with social media is that it is easier to make a large number of friends within a short time only. Right now, it is possible to make hundreds to thousands of friends over any social networking platform.
- Social media helps in fostering empathy: when you are sharing your good as well as bad experiences on different social networking sites, you may find other persons who empathize with you. You might even meet a friend, who has already gone through the same ordeals and can help you to walk through your problem. You will also be able to understand that a similar kind of issue has not derailed your friends.
- It helps in speedy communication: Writing a tweet is going to take only twenty seconds and you will also have the freedom of cross-promoting your tweets to other networks so that your connections in your other social media accounts can also go through them. This will also help you to reach more people instantly. For a business, social media also helps in competitor analysis.
- Social media makes the world seem small: Apart from communicating with your close friends and family members, social media networks help you to communicate with other people who are based in different parts of the world.
- Social media helps in building relationships: Social helps you to get back in touch with those people, with whom you have lost contact years back. You can even build a relationship with a person with whom you have numerous things in common.
- It Can be Used for Noble Causes: social media can be used for various noble causes like social welfare activities and promotion of Non-Government Organizations (NGOs). Not only this, but it also helps to change the way people live. It creates awareness and helps people to discover various innovations that help them enhance their own lives.
- Social Media Can Benefit Mental Health Too: Emotions expressed online affect your mood. It not only helps to relieve social isolation but also open new communication pathways and offers much-needed support. It allows people to share their thoughts without revealing their identity. And it develops within people an enhanced talent of self-expression without any fear.
Ways you can use the social media as a Christian
- Think before you post. Let your speech be seasoned with salt, mixed with grace (Col 4:6)
- Encourage others in social media.: “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
- Respond with a gentle spirit. Let our desire be to win hearts rather than to win arguments.
- Remember who is watching you in social media. The words we Christians say to one another and to others are on display for the world to see. This platform is an incredible opportunity to demonstrate the love of Christ in action.
- Use social media as an opportunity to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit. God is doing great works through those in social media who strive to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit every time they post: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22).
- Use the social media to preach the word of God and win souls for the kingdom. Eph 4:29 KJV, Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
- Seek to create unity in the body of Christ through social media. For sure, there are many who are divisive. But even more of us can be a mighty force for God to bring unity to Christians across the world. Paul said it well: “Above all, put on love – the perfect bond of unity” (Colossians 3:14).
- Use the social media to develop yourself: join groups/forums that will edify you, follow figures that post things that will build you up. You can improve your career by belonging to academic or career groups.
- Advance your purpose: you can promote your vision, your ability and link up with prospects.
Mat 12:33-36 KJV, Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
(34) O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
(35) A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
(36) But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
Every man is born corrupt, but the only way any man can be made good is through salvation that comes from Jesus Christ. You can follow these recommendations if you are yet to be saved.
You need a change of heart so that you can produce good and quality fruits. This is your opportunity to give your life to Jesus.