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 | Adam Cross

Be a Holy Scroll-er

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Whether you have a PhD in meme culture or are swimming in a sea of life-giving TikTok videos, we have to ask ourselves this important question: How does social media shape how I view myself, others and God?

Great responsibility

As Uncle Ben taught us in the original Spiderman film (a.k.a. the best Spiderman film), with great power comes great responsibility. Not only is social media a powerful tool, but so is our ability to engage with it and make sense of it.

What we see on social media – the good, the bad and the ugly – sparks thoughts, concerns and emotions in us. Social media has the great power to connect people, instill laughter, evoke tears and fuel anger. It not only entertains, but in many ways it educates us in what the world is considering to be normal, healthy and good. It can often spark comparison with others, or lead to anxious or depressive thoughts as we hear about the broken world around us. Whatever else it may be, God calls us to intentionally navigate and invite him into the seemingly endless content we encounter.

Digesting it all

With so much online, how do we make sense of it all? Being made in the image and likeness of God means that our thoughts and emotions matter, and that they reveal what is written on our hearts. God calls us to pause, examine and invite him into what we are experiencing and seeing in practical ways. To do this we can start by asking ourselves a few questions with a nonjudgmental curiosity:

  • While scrolling, what do I find myself drawn to and why?
  • How much time do I find myself scrolling online?
  • Do I turn to social media to distract myself from emotions, thoughts or responsibilities?
  • How do I usually feel before, during and after scrolling?
  • Does what I am watching cause me to think less of myself or others?
  • What messages am I getting from the content I see and how do I feel about that?
  • Is God welcome in this time I spend on social media?

A light onto the metaverse

Finally, God calls us to not only reflect on the content we encounter, but to engage and change it as well. There is a lot of uplifting and solid Catholic content online, and God is calling you to contribute to it! At the same time, we live in a world where social media often presents a non-Christian view of life and many distorted images of what is good and true. At our baptism we are given the call to preach the Gospel to all nations, and social media is a great tool to proclaim the Truth of Christ to our world. We can creatively and authentically (and in a non-cringey way) witness to Christ in our lives through both subtle and obvious ways. God uses your creativity, your story, your hardships and your humor to bring people closer to himself.

So whenever you scroll, don’t go it alone. Invite God in to help you navigate, make sense of and transform the world around you when online. God is speaking to you each and every day through social media, your thoughts, emotions and what is written on your heart. Approach social media with God’s grace, an awareness of your own experiences, and with a desire to share the true Good News of Christ with the world.

Adam Cross is a licensed marriage and family therapist in California, and he worked as a youth minister at his local parish for 8 years. Adam loves to integrate the Catholic faith into his therapy practice.

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