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Many new year’s resolutions might involve technology and social media. Less screen time? More control on those retorts in the comment section? 

Unlike the 75 percent who abandon their new year’s goals in the first 30 days or the 92 percent who never accomplish them, religion and culture expert, national radio host and author Dr. Alex McFarland says Christians especially should get serious in 2019 about rethinking technology.

“Social media has changed the world in which we live,” McFarland said. “Think about 10 years ago—or even five—when we didn’t know what our friends were doing, where they were and what they were eating several times a day. Politically, it has radically altered the process, on both sides of the party spectrum and for both candidates and voters. Yes, social media can be uplifting and even a way to share the love of Christ when used correctly and with grace. But the phenomenon can also be very ugly. We spout barbs we would never say in person or to someone’s face. Social media puts up a veil where we feel invisible, even though our technological footprints are very real—and long-lasting.”

McFarland added that this may be the year for North Americans—and especially younger ones—to “keep it to themselves.” Reasons include privacy-compromising revelations and trust issues of social media giants, coupled with the fact that the views of conservatives and Christians are censored online.

“May 2019 be the year we focus inwardly on our relationship with God rather than outwardly on what we posted for the world to see,” McFarland said. “God gave us a voice to use for His glory,” McFarland continued. “With a communication vehicle as large and impactful as Facebook and the rest of social media, think of the positive difference Christians could make. Many are doing just that, but are we doing our part to turn this communication opportunity into a way to bring others into a relationship with Jesus? As we’ve seen with Facebook’s recent woes, we must be very careful how we use the powerful communication tools that are at our fingertips. Someone’s soul could depend on it.”

The author of 18 books with another on the horizon, McFarland is the creator of the successful Truth for a New Generation (TNG) national and regional apologetics conferences which have been in existence for over two decades and aim to help students, parents, youth pastors and community members to lift up this young generation, pray for them and empower them to stand strong in their faith.