The New Social Diseases

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We live in a fast paced and exciting world.  Everyone feels connected, and at any moment you can find out what people are up to, where they are, and what they are thinking (sometimes in 140 characters or less).

The Internet has become ingrained in our culture.  Social Networks have brought people together and have even helped topple nations.  We no longer live in the world of our fathers, and our world drastically changes with every click and innovation.

I am a fan of technology.  I do not fall into the line of thinking that gadgets and social networks are ruining our culture.  However, I do believe that there are new challenges that come along with our high tech culture.

The Internet has brought amazing things, and it’s hard to imagine life without the now common things like status updates and tweets.  But the Internet has also become another means for man to seek after the things he longs for, and the desires of man are far from always admirable.

The other day, I was driving along, listening to satellite radio, when an ad came on for a website entirely devoted to helping people have an affair and get away with it.  Their slogan was, “Show me a hot wife, and I’ll show you a man that’s tired of being with her.”

A popular men’s magazine was on the rack at the grocery store.  Its cover proudly announced, “Horny? Finally, there’s an app for that.”

Most of us have grown up in a generation where we were constantly warned of the danger of social diseases such as HIV and AIDS.  We have been assaulted by images and descriptions that can never be erased (thanks to the world’s idea of Sex Ed), all in the hopes that we will protect ourselves and make wise choices.

In the midst of Social Networks and online dating, there are new social diseases to be wary of.  It’s easy to catch the disease of instant gratification, and become overtaken by symptoms such as feelings of entitlement and dependency upon the need for just one more click or message.

Enjoy the excitement of reaching out to new people, and the experience of talking with people who you would never have had the chance to meet before things like Facebook existed, but I urge you to guard your heart and mind.  Don’t allow the Internet’s feeling of anonymity to become your excuse for taking part in things which are destructive and harmful.  Don’t use the blessing of technology as a means for your next fix of self-pleasure.

In the cyber world, conduct yourself in such a way that nothing will undermine your character.  Be alert, and guard yourself against the new forms of social diseases, which wait to infect and wear on your life.

To paraphrase Colossians 3:17:

“And whatever you do, whether in person or in posts, do it all in the screen-name of the Lord Jesus, tweeting thanks to God the Father through Him.”

Matt Wells is a born-and-raised Floridian, from Lake Worth. He currently lives in Florida with his wife, Heather, their baby daughter, Bella, and their dog, Marley. He is the author of "Fix Me, Love Them: Christianity as it Should Be", and can be found on Twitter (www.twitter.com/FixMeLoveThem), and Facebook (www.facebook.com/FixMeLoveThem). He can also be reached at FixMeLoveThem@gmail.com