Wednesday night, the Culture Project set up in the Gentile Gallery to talk about the effects of social media on students’ lives.
From the Culture Project’s Pittsburgh Team, MacKenzi Thibodeaux and Franciscan University of Steubenville alumnus Brendan Avila presented to a group of students.
Thibodeaux said there is a prominence and unavoidableness of social media today.
She said, “In fact, if it wasn’t for social media, I wouldn’t be here right now. I actually found the Culture Project through a Facebook video.”
Social media can be a positive if we make it, Thibodeaux said.
However, Avila said people have become very dependent on social media. The average teenager spends nine hours a day on various social media platforms and checks his or her phone on average 100 times a day, Avila said.
Many times, it seems that we are starting to lose our ability to connect with other people, Avila said. For example, many people prefer to text rather than talk on the phone or in person, or they find themselves on their phones when with other people.
Social media was created as a neutral platform. Thibodeaux said, “Social media itself is neither good nor bad, but rather it’s how we use it that makes it something that either has a positive impact on the world around us or a negative impact.”
Christians are not morally obligated to either fight for it or against it, Thibodeaux said.
This is very clearly seen in the fact that good things can be found on social media, such as a happy relationship on a dating app, Thibodeaux said. However, someone can also find evils even when he or she is not looking for them, such as pornography. No one can control how other people use social media, so media users must be cautious.
Christians need to break the habits of depending on their phones and social media. For many people, it is the first thing they look at in the morning and the last thing they look at at night.
Avila suggested turning off the phone for a day, or even just a few hours in a day. Thibodeaux suggested leaving the phone in a different room when going to bed.