Thanks to the internet and social media, the world is literally at our fingertips. We can post and tweet our status from almost anywhere, anytime. When we are not posting pictures of our dinners or making comments on other people’s posts, we also use our devices to play games, listen to music and download apps. Apps that can do our grocery shopping, bring us food or let us know what we will look like when we are old.

Although all this technology can be helpful, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the access of so much information. We can become exhausted from managing our social media as well as keeping a watchful eye on our children’s access to social media. How does this affect our faith as Christians? Are we spending more time scrolling through Instagram pictures than we are in our prayer life? Are we arguing with strangers on random political posts rather than spending our time with a daily devotional?

Social media can bring out the best in us as we celebrate what God is doing in our lives, but it can also reveal envy, pettiness and a mean-spirited nature. As Christians, we must manage our digital lives with the grace and love of God as we should in our real-time lives.

What Would Jesus Post?: Seven Principles Christians Should Follow in Social Media
By: Brian D. Wassom

Social media gives each of us enormous power to influence others for good or ill. But far too many Christians ignore the opportunities and undermine their own reputations through thoughtless words shared online. This book comes directly from the author’s experiences as an attorney and a church leader and offers simple guidelines for exercising biblical wisdom in social media.

The Church of Facebook: How the Hyperconnected Are Redefining Community
By: Jesse Rice

With millions of users, social networks are changing how we form relationships, perceive others and shape our identity. At its core, this movement reflects our need for community, intimacy and a place to belong. Discover how this phenomenon subtly reflects a God who longs to connect with each of us.

Plugged-In Parenting: How to Raise Media-Savvy Kids with Love, Not War
By: Bob Waliszewski

Written for parents of children and teens, this book helps parents teach their kids media discernment. Today, children are exposed to cyberbullying, sexting, violence and sex on television and more. This book uses teachable moments, research, Scripture, parental example and a written family entertainment constitution to uphold biblical standards without damaging the parent-child relationship.

iGods: How Technology Shapes Our Spiritual and Social Lives
By: Craig Detweiler

This book provides a needed Christian perspective on navigating today’s social media culture. Major “iGods,” such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter— impact the technologies and cultural phenomena that drive us. Take a historic look at where we’ve been and a prophetic look at where we’re headed, to sort out the immediate from the eternal, the digital from the divine.

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Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.