Introduction to Social Media: Our Connected World

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Course Description:
Have a Facebook account? What about Twitter? Whether you’ve already dipped your toes in the waters of social media or are still standing on the shore wondering what to make of it all, learning how to navigate media platforms is crucial if you want to flourish in our digital age. We can take comfort in the fact that in our use of these fascinating communication tools, God wants us to use them to promote the gospel and advance His mission in the world. In this course, students will receive a broad overview of various social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+, while also learning how to use these resources in a biblically responsible way. Students will also discover best practices with respect to social media—for personal, academic, and even professional use. If you thought social media was just a way to keep track of friends and share personal photos, this course will show you how to use these platforms in much more significant ways.

Recommended Prerequisites:

Grade Level:
9-12th Grades

Course Types Available:
Full Course (0.5 credits, 6 weeks minimum / 6 months maximum)

Biblical Integration Information:

  1. Creation: In a world that prizes self-sufficiency, it is important to remember that God created us as dependent and interdependent beings (Genesis 1–2). Not only do we rely on God, but we also rely on one another. Accordingly, God has imbued us with the wonderful ability to communicate, collaborate, and network with others. This is reflected in a wide variety of media throughout history, but perhaps nowhere more clearly than with the social media revolution of the early twenty-first century.
  2. Fall: As a result of Adam and Eve’s rebellion against God—which can be viewed as an attempt to become independent from God—human nature is thoroughly and universally marred by sin (Genesis 3; Romans 1:18—3:23). This unfortunate reality can be seen in just about every kind of human social interaction. Given their remote nature, though, social media platforms often encourage users to do and say things they would never do or say in person. As a result, this medium can be particularly ugly, showing anything from cyberbullying and harsh invective to exploitation and sexual immorality.
  3. Redemption: Insofar as social media allow believers to collaborate, edify others, and even promote the gospel, the church can and should use such media for kingdom purposes. Given the temptations to say things they would never say in person, though, Christians should be careful to maintain a good online reputation—not only for their own sakes, but also and especially for God’s (Matthew 5:14–16; 1 Peter 2:12). Accordingly, we should avoid complaining, cursing, and boasting (see James 3:3–12), while also actively demonstrating wisdom, integrity, and love (e.g., Proverbs 3:1–4; Mark 12:28–31). Marketing efforts, too, should be characterized by honesty (e.g., Ephesians 4:25) and genuine concern for others (e.g., Philippians 2:3–4). And finally, while social media can help us in our professional and academic pursuits, we should never lose sight of the importance of face-to-face collaboration, nor the need to consult well-qualified resources in our academic assignments. Nothing less than God’s excellence demands it (cf. Ephesians 5:1).

To see how these truths are specifically explored in this course, visit the course information page in the course and click on “Guiding Principles.”

Required Purchased Materials:
None. Students are required to access a variety of social media platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and others.