Beginning in the 1970’s, the Plato System was developed at the University of Illinois. Plato’s message application forum Talkomatic introduced the first on-line chat room. The concept of Usenet was conceived in 1979 and established by 1980 as a joint venture between Duke and North Carolina University. As operating systems such as Mac OS and Windows emerged in the 1980’s, online Bulletin Board Systems and Internet Relay Chats grew in popularity. This technology conceived social media platforms like My Space and Facebook in the 1990’s. AOL launched instant messaging inspiring the film You’ve Got Mail in 1998. Meanwhile, Windows Live Messenger set the stage for blogging, LinkedIn and Twitter. When you consider modern search engines like Google, social media has become a powerful form of communication.
For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine and accurate instruction [that challenges them with God’s truth]; but wanting to have their ears tickled [with something pleasing], they will accumulate for themselves [many] teachers [one after another, chosen] to satisfy their own desires and to support the errors they hold, 2 Timothy 4:3.
Unfortunately, the last decade has revealed the ugly side of this new domain. Since the 2016 presidential election, cyber bullying, fake news and verbal assaults are a daily occurrence. Meanwhile, Christians, conservatives and historians are being silenced by several social media moguls. Sites are being demonetized, posts have been removed and videos have been banned without any logical explanation. Every week stories continue to spread about cyber police silencing content that offends atheists, liberals and progressives. Diamond and Silk recently accused Facebook of blocking 1.3 million followers from receiving their newsletter. Meanwhile, Twitter has been exposed for using algorithms to prop up liberal viewership while taking away followers from accounts deemed too conservative. How long will this censorship be allowed to continue as a social media blackout?
And will turn their ears away from the truth and will wander off into myths and man-made fictions [and will accept the unacceptable], 2 Timothy 4:4.
As I look to the Bible for answers to my concerns, there are one of two possible explanations. First, this is merely a sign of end times, that Jesus’ second coming in the form of the rapture is drawing near. The book of 2 Timothy, chapter 3 provides a detailed list of what to expect prior to Jesus’ return. The apostle Paul eludes to a time when arrogance, disobedience and narcissism influences the culture. The more I read 2 Timothy 3, the more plausible this theory become. Yet, current social media conditions can be directly tied to post-modernism. This worldview is highlighted by a general distrust of grand theories and ideologies. When post-modernism is embraced, the concept of moral absolutes disappear. Thus, as social media sites appoint monitors to examine the content of individual domains, judgments are made based upon worldviews held. As Theism is being replaced by secular humanism and post-modernism, Christians need to do a better job of explaining their beliefs. Unless conservatives start engaging other worldviews with biblical principles, this targeted social media blackout will continue until hearts and minds are persuaded by love.
by Jay Mankus