Social Networking: An adversary or ally?

Teentalk

Instead of using social media to tear others down, let’s use it help others and to share the gospel message.

Aaron Petersen

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are just a few of the social networking sites out there. They are a great way to catch up with friends you haven’t seen in a while. They can help invite people to events and let people see what you are doing. I believe that people like to see what other people are doing and the things they have done.

With these new ways to connect, there are also new ways to destroy. Cyber bullying is one of the hot topics in the news right now. It has even led people to take their own lives. Where does most cyber bullying come from? You guessed it, social media.

Social media gives a bully a whole new way to victimize people, without even looking that person in the eye. There is absolutely no confrontation when someone is a cyber bully. They can say what they want and not worry about others around them. It’s totally different than when someone is bullying in a school setting when there are teachers everywhere and others around who could stop the bullying. Cyber bullying is online, and, sadly, it isn’t usually known until the victim notifies an adult or does something so people take notice. The bad thing is that these people sometimes don’t talk to anyone else and believe the only answer is suicide. So social networking receives a bad rap.

But what if we teens worked to change that? I invite you to try out my new idea: cyber gospel. Think about how many people have computers at home, travel with laptops, and have smartphones and other Internet devices. What if we turned that into a whole new mission? Jesus says in Matthew 28:19, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” I say, “Why not go and make disciples without even leaving your couch?” We can use these devices to spread God’s infallible Word to the ends of the earth.

Now some might say, “WELS already has a website. They are already doing that.” But think how many people wake up in the morning and search the WELS website on Google. I don’t think there are too many, but I can tell you how they get led there. You! I always think of the analogy of five friends. If I have five friends and they have five friends, and so on—you quickly realize that you are connected to everyone in the world. Just think, after the great flood, only Noah and his family were left. All the six billion people on this earth came from one of those survivors. So everyone on this earth is related to one another. Would you let your own brother go down to cyber bullying, or would you stand up for him and give him hope? Could you tell him that even though he is going through a tough time, God is there to support him and loves him even if a thousand bullies say he’s no good?

How do you cyber gospel? It’s really easy. Instead of posting what you are eating for lunch, try posting something encouraging and helpful for others. Instead of posting how ugly someone’s shoes are, try complimenting them. These kinds of things are contagious. All it needs is one person, and that person is you.

So I encourage you, brothers and sisters in Christ, let’s go cyber gospel . . .

Aaron Petersen, a junior at Lakeside Lutheran High School, Lake Mills, Wisconsin, is a member of St. Paul, Lake Mills.

 

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Author: Aaron Petersen
Volume 102, Number 2
Issue: February 2015

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