Some books are long. Others are short. Don’t judge the value of a book by its size. Will you be my Facebook friend? Social Media and the Gospel is only 48 pages short. The font size is large and the lines are well spaced, but the message is profoundly important. Tim Chester asks us to carefully consider both the benefits and the pitfalls of social media. This isn’t a tirade against the internet, but rather a plea to use it wisely. Social media has the capacity to radically distort reality, and we need to be wise to the dangers. Chester doesn’t leave us with a call to be more self-disciplined, which will lead only to pride or despair. Rather, he reminds us how the gospel reorients our lives and puts them back in real perspective—God’s perspective.
Here are a few words to consider…
The genius of Facebook is that all your friends come to you and all your friends come to them. So we simultaneously all inhabit our own little worlds, each with me at the centre. (p20)
Is your Facebook self more attractive or successful than your real-world self? (p26)
Am I using Facebook to enhance real-world relationships, or to replace them? (p39)
Remember the medium is the message, and Facebook was designed by a teenage nerd. (p42)
The Facebook comments wither and the tweets fall, but the word of our God stands forever. (p46)
If you or your kids are into Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, spend hours in front of the TV, surf the net, scour blog sites, or the like—then do yourself a favour, turn off the computer, the TV, the X-Box, or whatever else, make yourself a coffee and read this book. It might take two cups of coffee, but I think you’ll find it worthwhile!