Fantasy: the trap of the social media

Posted on June 18, 2015 · Posted in Internet, Sanctification, Shaping Influences, Social Networking

Notice Solomon’s wording of Proverbs 12:11. One person pursues a productive path of working his land while another pursues fantasies.

He who works his land will have abundant food,

but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment. Proverbs 12:11

Social media offers the endless pursuit of the things that are not productive, or in the meaning of this Proverb, fantasies. It can be as obvious as spending hours and hours perusing posts, tweets and home pages. Or your pursuit can be about the being involved in arguments and causes which, while interesting, are ultimately, not productive, i.e. fantasies.

The world of the social media makes it easy to ignore the reality of God. Remember, the fool has said in his heart there is no God. But, God is not absent from anything we do, including your time in the world of social media. We are always accountable to him!

Let’s look at how internet and social media can detract from a productive life. To the extent this detracts from being productive, to that extent it must be avoided. The emphasis here is not so much on lack of exertion, but rather that exertion is misdirected. Misdirected energy is the real problem here.

Many social media users put a huge amount of time and energy into their pursuits. When this happens legitimate priorities suffer. The comparison here is with a farmer who thinks of other ways to get money while neglecting his farm. Thus, instead of working his land, he schemes or chases fantasies and ends up without food for himself and his family. The farmer may think long and hard about acquiring money or about where he would rather be—but he will not be productive, and he will be hungry.

Electronic media has provided the occasion for many to be distracted from the work God has called them to and to be driven by fantasies instead. You don’t have to be a hard core gamer with the latest, most powerful computer to be drawn in. Hours can be wasted trying to figure out the latest political or religious rumor. The danger is that the energy spent in these pursuits will lead to a lack of productivity in areas where you do have clear responsibility.

Why not take time to evaluate your use of social media and its impact on the lives of your family and those close to you? In what areas is productivity being lost? What good things could be accomplished if less time were given to social media?

If you are going to help your children learn how to handle the internet and social media, you must first make this a pursuit where you are faithful to God.

Jay Younts
Jay Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is the author of Everyday Talk and other materials on parenting. He has been teaching and speaking on parenting issues for 30 years. Jay and his wife, Ruth, live in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. He serves as a ruling elder at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and Ruth have five adult children.