Last Sunday in the church service I attended the preacher asked us the question “Who do you follow?”
I guess many of us might think that we do not follow anyone. However most of us probably follow either: a sports team, musician, film star or TV series.
If we check our various social media accounts we would realise that there are many different people we follow on these platforms too. When I look at those I follow on social media and put these people into categories broadly speaking they would be, in no particular order:
- TV presenters
- Friends and family
If though you were to ask me why I follow these people then for many of them I’m not quite sure what reason I would give you. Although I might like a particular sportsman I’m not quite sure why I need to follow them on social media. There might be occasions when I congratulate them, via social media, for winning an event or achieving something outstanding in their sport. But it’s not necessary though to follow them to do this.
Some of the people I follow on social media do post interesting updates. I especially enjoy updates from certain comedians I follow who use their accounts to share jokes with their followers.
Social media has helped me to keep abreast of what my old friends are doing as I’m not very good at keeping in contact. Updates from Christians can encourage and challenge me in my faith in addition to providing me details of their latest blog postings.
I wonder though if those we follow on social media influence us for better or worse, or is it just harmless fun following these people.
Last weekend there was a boxing match shown on You Tube between Logan Paul and KSI. These two individuals are hugely popular on You Tube and between them have over 34 million subscribers to their channels. That is a phenomenal number of subscribers / followers. According to the BBC the majority of their subscribers are young men. Just think of the influence Logan Paul and KSI can have for better or worse in the lives of these young men.
Maybe one of the reasons we follow certain people on social media is because we want to feel part of the crowd. If all our friends follow someone we may feel isolated if we also do not follow them. Perhaps we get a sense of self-worth by following these people and hoping that they might follow us back in return.
I remember feeling pleased that a couple of people I follow, who were popular on Twitter, started following me on that platform. I think secretly I was hoping that they might retweet my tweets and I would get many more followers out of this! It can be quite interesting, eye opening and embarrassing when we honestly examine our motives.
In closing I think it’s wise to be mindful of who we follow and to ensure that we are careful not to allow ourselves to be influenced in a negative way.