160: Chris Martin | How Social Media is Shaping Us & Healthy Practices

Chris Martin, Terms of Service author. How Social Media is Shaping Us

Chris Martin | How Social Media is Shaping Us

Chris Martin, author of “Terms of Service,” is a content marketing editor at Moody Publishers and a social media, marketing and communications consultant.

He has led social media strategy at Lifeway Christian Resources and advised some of the foremost Christian leaders and authors on digital content strategy.

He writes regularly at www.TermsOfService.social.

Chris lives outside Nashville, Tenn., with his wife, Susie, their daughter, Magnolia, and their dog, Rizzo.

Chris Martin joins Amber to discuss how social media is shaping us and practical ways we push back against its negative impacts.  They dive into his new book, Terms of Service.

How the Internet is Shaping Us Episode Questions:

  1. (5:49) Share a little of your faith journey with us.  When did you begin walking with Jesus?
  2. (11:38) In your book, Terms of Service, you write much about how the social internet has and is shaping us.  Will you share a few ways we are “servants of the social internet that was originally marketed as something that would serve us”?
  3. (19:05) One of your chapters is titled “We believe attention assigns value”.  Flesh that out for us a bit and discuss the destruction this belief is causing
  4. (24:19) What makes us continue to log on despite emerging research of social internet’s negative effects on us?
  5. (27:33) We hear the analogy “Social media is like a drug”, but you go further in saying that analogy is not as true as it could be.  Will you share your analogy and what you mean by it.
  6. (33:40) After laying out 5 ways the social internet shapes us, you share 6 ideas of where to go from here.  I am going to say those chapter titles out loud and I want you to share the first few thoughts that pop into your mind when you think about how “we can be on our way to forming the social internet more than it forms us.”
    • Study History
    • Admire Creation
    • Value Silence
    • Pursue Humility
    • Establish Accountability
    • Build Friendships
  7. (45:43) As we close, speak directly to the Christian who senses the impact the social internet is having on them, but is still struggling to set limits.  How would you encourage them to take the next step?

Quotes to Remember from Chris Martin | How the Internet is Shaping Us & Healthy Practices:

“I use the term social internet, rather than social media, because I think it’s really important that we think of the entire internet as a social technology.”

“We have this idea that a trending or viral piece of content is inherently important, simply because it’s popular…and…we believe that when people pay attention to me, they’re telling me I’m valuable. [The] overarching lie is rooted in the belief that attention equals value, that whatever is most popular is most valuable.”

“We desperately want to be famous, and we desperately want attention. But I think we’re so often afraid of being truly known. And social media offers a really great avenue for us to strive for attention without the risk of intimacy.”

“Social media is more like a drug dealer, because it can get your brain,…your soul addicted to any number of feelings. Social media can dispense any number of pseudo narcotics. It can make us happy. It can make us sad. It can make us wind down…It can make us amped up. It can get us excited or angry.”

“We should be aware that these platforms aren’t neutral…They’re incentivized to keep us on and swiping and clicking and tapping as much as possible. And they’re willing to make us angry or sad, or sometimes happy. They just want to keep us engaged. They don’t really care about how we feel.”

Study History

“Read more, or at least as much about the past as you read about the present.”

Admire Creation

“Go for daily walks, and don’t take your headphones.”

“Those passages about God considering the sparrows, surely He’ll consider you start to come to life a little bit more, if you look creation around you.”

“When you ground yourself in things that are earthy and real and physical, you start to realize that our mediated, pixelated life is not our primary experience.”

Value Silence

We’re often more interested in our own thoughts than anybody else…Sometimes it’s helpful to be silent and recognize that not everybody cares what you say all the time.”

Pursue Humility

“Pray, and ask God to remind you of who you are in light of who He is.”

Establish Accountability

“Surround yourself with people who will tell you when you’re being a fool. We need people who can wound us when we need wounding, and bind our wounds when they need bound.”

Build Friendships

“We’re not meant to walk the Christian life alone. The path is narrow, but there is room for at least a couple of us to walk side by side and bear one another’s burdens.”

Healthy Practices

  • Set screen time limits on your phone and give someone else the password
  • Understand conversations around the internet and our use of it are in bounds in communities that we’re in. We have permission to be calling each other out or holding each other accountable.
  • Ask yourself,  “Am I living as though my online life is my primary experience and my offline life is just content generation for the internet?”  If the answer is yes, get help.

Resources Mentioned:

Related Episodes:

We desperately want attention. But we're so often afraid of being truly known. And social media offers a really great avenue for us to strive for attention without the risk of intimacy.
Social media is more like a drug dealer. It can get your brain...your soul addicted to any number of feelings. It can dispense any number of pseudo narcotics. It can make us happy. It can make us sad. It can make us wind down... It can make us amped up. It can get us excited or angry.
When you ground yourself in things that are earthy and physical, you start to realize that our mediated, pixelated life is not our primary experience.

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