Written By: Rebeccah Sinclair

A member of many “groups” and follower of a variety of “pages” on social media, I am
no stranger to the plethora of posts seeking advice and wisdom from the internet. Recently, an
anonymous post from a mom on one of these pages garnered responses from other members
that included calling her husband a “man-child” and multiple people calling for her to “get her
affairs in order”, “divorce”, and to “leave her husband”. I was shocked by the number of
women calling for the death of her marriage because they read one post that portrayed a small
painting of her life. They didn’t know her complete circumstances, they know nothing about
her, her husband, or her children- yet they were willing to destroy a family. It’s surprising how
flippantly people will give advice, without knowing the person or the situation and how much of
the advice stems from the giver’s own experiences, where they are projecting their experiences
and outcomes onto another person in a different experience.
Despite this, giving and getting advice online isn’t always a bad thing. When you’re living
a military life, moving frequently, or your spouse is deployed, it’s easy to feel isolated and
wonder where to get your connection and who to get advice from. Social media can help bridge
the gap and build community. It doesn’t have to be an enemy to our spirit or a Joy stealer. We
must keep in mind the importance of being intentional in where we are getting our advice and
how much we ask from those online.
Social media, the groups we are in, pages we are a part of, and videos we watch, bring
the opportunity to learn new things and expose ourselves to people who do things differently,
which can be a blessing! Like all tools, we must use it appropriately. Inappropriate use can
cause harm to ourselves, our relationships, and our work. Here are a couple of starting points!

  1. Consider if you are more of a “consumer” or “giver” in your use of social media. Do
    you use your social media to give to others or are you using it to meet your own
    needs? How can you make changes to incorporate more “giving”?
  2. When you ask for advice online, are you measuring the advice against the Bible? If
    you are giving advice online, are you stepping away, clearing your mind and praying
    for wisdom before you do? What you say can have an impact on someone else’s
    decisions. Prayerfully consider what you want to say, if you should say it and how to
    say it.
  3. Do you have a solid community that is not online? Prayerfully ask for God to put
    people in your life who you can grow with and learn from. Then, get out and look for
    opportunities to try and meet people. You won’t make friends with them all. Ask
    God for discernment on the people to be closest with. Seek women of character.
    Life is hard and we don’t always have someone we can call or a neighbor to walk to and
    chat about something that is going on. The online community is a great way to build
    connections and gain insight. This is great! Be aware of ways that social media might be
    harming your relationships as well and take steps to reduce this.