Chuck Bentley Answers: Is Social Media That Bad?

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Dear Chuck,

Is social media really that bad? Everyone talks about it like it’s the cause of all our problems but I don’t feel like it really makes me compare myself to others or overspend. I don’t click on ads or “swipe up” on Instagram to buy promoted products. So, is it actually a threat to my finances?

Fine with Facebook

Dear Fine with Facebook,

It is never good to only look at one side of an issue. Social media can be both good and bad. For instance, many helpful, God-glorifying articles and materials are accessed and spread via social media. Connecting with old friends, supporting a good cause or sharing uplifting content is great. It is not difficult to make a case for some of the good it provides. On the other hand, a great deal of negative downsides are mixed into the free offering that has become an invasive part of our lives.

In general, we have become a materialistic society. Our fleshly desires to elevate ourselves, praise our own accomplishments, and become our own god has wreaked havoc on the earth from the beginning of time. There is no doubt that social media has added fuel to this fire, giving it a platform, a name, and a $51.3 billion industry.

Understanding the Times

It’s possible that you’re in a minority of people that are affected less by social media. However, I would caution you to believe that it doesn’t have any influence on you. I believe that with discipline, the right priorities, and limited amounts of time on social media, you can avoid many of the more adverse effects it can have. But you may not be entirely immune.

There are approximately 3.196 billion social media users worldwide. Sixty-nine percent of Americans use some kind of social media, with Facebook being the most widely used, followed by Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

A survey revealed that more than 25% of 1,000 people aged 18-35 (Millennials) feel pressured to keep up with their friends who post their purchases and travel photos. Two-thirds of these admit to comparing their lifestyles to others as a result of social media, while 29% of those aged 52-70 (Baby Boomers) say the same. And 57% of millennials admit to making unplanned purchases as a result of what they see on social media.

Companies can make over $17 per user with the right kind of social advertising. Whether or not you feel like it, thousands of marketers and advertisers around the world are having meetings to find ways to make you spend money on their products and services. And they know how to target you based on the very information that you click on, read, search for or post.

What To Do About It

Obviously, social media is a big deal. To be clear, I don’t think that it’s inherently wrong – I have my own Facebook and Twitter account and enjoy keeping up with family members and friends on social media.

However, it’s easy to get carried away quickly. Protect your finances, your heart, and your relationships with the following guidelines.

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Source: Christian Post