One of the primary means the enemy uses to divide people today is social media. While social media has many advantages, it also is designed in such a way that it can easily be used as a tool of Satan. If we are not intentionally resisting the schemes of the enemy, we will too easily be played by them.
There are demonic powers that oppress this world, and they have strategies for tripping us up. According to 2 Corinthians 2:10-11, we are supposed to discern their strategies and schemes. The basic strategy of the enemy is two-fold: first, Satan deceives us into thinking that we have the right to define reality according to our preferences. Second, he sets alternative realities against each other in order to generate irreconcilable conflict between groups. Our job as kingdom ambassadors is to start with God’s truth and to align with that, which means that we must resist the strategy of the enemy. We are either resisting the powers and their schemes or we are being played by them.
Not only should we be aware of the basic strategy that the principalities and powers use, but we also need to know the tools that they use. Today, social media is a primary means that the powers of the air use to create division and judgment. While social media is not inherently evil—as it offers many benefits—it has great potential for evil. According to the principle of proportionality, the potential for evil correlates with the potential for good. With the high level of polarization we experience today, social media has become the main tool the powers are using to kill, steal and destroy humanity.
Our smart phones are connected to the internet where artificial intelligence is designed to collect data on everything we explore via that phone. As a result, marketers can push information to smart phone users that is specifically aimed at each person’s preferences, as opposed to the broad-based approach kind of advertising that is used in television, advertising or magazine ads. This AI is constantly collecting information about user preferences so that those preferences can be reinforced with more of the same.
It’s one thing to have music preferences pushed to you by this AI, but it is another when it comes to questions regarding truth. One of our deepest desires is to be right, and when we explore one version of rightness, AI will offer more of the same to reinforce our feeling of rightness. When our preferences are being constantly confirmed but never challenged, we are entering an echo chamber and creating an alternate reality.
Social media feeds into our inclination from the Fall to believe that we can define reality according to our own preferences. We are no longer referencing a common set of information with others, as the only information pushed to us is the information that supports what we already believe. And the other side only sees the information that supports their beliefs. As a result, social media also feeds into our inclination to judge others, actually ramping it up to a hopeless level.
In order not to be played by the powers that are at work through social media, we must resist the pattern of control that social media seeks over us. As 2 Timothy 2:4 says, “No one serving in the army gets entangled in everyday affairs; the soldier’s aim is to please the enlisting officer.”
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