Social and entertainment media have become ubiquitous in our world today. They can be accessed anywhere, anytime. Social and entertainment media platforms have the capacity to greatly benefit our human experience; however, they also have the capacity to harm our experience. Our culture has begun to excessively indulge in the usage of these platforms, yielding harmful effects. We hold this truth to be of the utmost importance, that whenever any form of social and entertainment media becomes destructive in one’s life, it is their duty to alter or eliminate their usage of said media.
They’ve enabled us to be proficient in passivity and waste precious hours of our days, robbing us of time we could’ve spent more meaningfully and productively.
They’ve provided us a simple and dangerous escape to avoid responsibility and work that needs to be done, critical thinking that needs to happen, challenges that need to be faced, and life that needs to be lived. They’ve allowed us to numb ourselves to the urgency and challenge of today’s adventure.
They’ve robbed us of small moments. While we sit down in classrooms or buckle in for long car rides, we could be present, engage with those around us, reflect upon the thoughts of today, or dream of tomorrow’s possibilities. Instead, we allow them to disconnect us from the moment we’re in and pass time by staring down into screens of mindlessness.
They’ve reframed our concept of enjoyment by making it seem as if we cannot have an enjoyable time unless we capture the moment and post it for others to see. In doing this, we fuel our own pride by taking satisfaction from others seeing what we do.
They’ve reframed our concept of loneliness by feeding us the lie that if we are alone, then we’re lonely. We look to them during our down time when we’re alone, see others spending time together, and falsely conclude that our state of aloneness is a state of loneliness; when in reality, our time spent alone is a valuable space for rest, peace, devotion, prayer and growth.
They’ve reframed our concept of friendship by leading us to believe we know someone because we’re aware of what they’ve posted online, rather than being aware of who they are in real life, what their story is, what they’ve been through, what they love, what they struggle with, and what their aims and goals are for this life and the next.
They’ve deceived us in to thinking others are living happy lives because of what they post.
We use them to construct profiles of ourselves and post about what we do, as well as follow the profiles and postings of others. These profiles do not reflect the full truth of what’s happening in our lives because we only display the positive and attractive happenings. In viewing others’ posts and profiles, we form an unrealistic opinion of the quality/happiness of their life. Oftentimes we then strive to duplicate what we see in the lives of others in our own life in the pursuit of happiness, yet the pursuit is in vain, because we’re striving for a life that doesn’t exist.
By associating our success and happiness with the amount of followers, likes and views we have, we experience shame, stress, pride and superiority complexes.
They’ve put boredom on the endangered concepts list. Boredom fosters creativity and forces us to use our imagination to productively pass time. They offer an easy escape from boredom and reduce our attention spans.
They’ve fed us entertainment and information whenever we want it. This has conditioned us to expect other aspects of our lives to happen instantly, and when they don’t, we get frustrated and return to them for a fix of instant stimulus.
Their platforms require us to judge everything we see and decide whether we “like” it or not, shaping judgmental worldviews within us which hinder us from seeing the God-given beauty in each person.
Their platforms demand much time, effort and thought be put into our own self-image, greatly contributing to our culture’s idolization of the individual.
They’ve empowered “the new drug” and served as a gateway to the world of pornography. In doing this they’ve killed love, damaged our relationships, damaged our perception of beauty, altered what stimulates our brains and bodies, and economically supported human trafficking.
We, the representatives of Harding University, do in the name of the good people of this University and community, solemnly declare that we are free and absolved from all allegiance to the harms of social and entertainment media; and that as free, independent people, we have the power to live fully present and productive lives.