XXX Church explains 3 ways Facebook ruins children's lives

Reuters

XXX Church—an online ministry dedicated to helping people who suffer from porn and sex addictions—believes that Facebook has a lot of positive values. However, it also believes that the social media giant has its drawbacks, too, especially when it comes to children.

Pastor Craig Gross listed on the ministry's website three ways that Facebook ruins children's lives:

1. It gives them false community.

Gross says it's good Facebook connects the world, and it's a good place where people can talk about politics, religion, or even the style faux pas of celebrities. However, it can get bad when Facebook takes the place of real, in-person community.

"Real life is much messier than Facebook, but it also allows you the opportunity to enter that mess and work your way through it," says Gross. "That's what real community does. The fake community of Facebook doesn't allow for that, instead replacing messiness with filters, muting, and unfriending. Facebook can be handy, but it isn't a real community."

2. It teaches them that their value lies in likes.

For Gross, it's absolutely "horrendous" the way Facebook turns every observation into a value judgment. Whenever people post something, they wait for the "likes" to roll in. The more they get, the better they feel about the post.

Gross says social media gives kids a wrong sense of validation, and the things they share online will most likely be defined by what will get "likes," rather than things that truly interest them. "It's a terrible way to live and an unhealthy lens to look at yourself," he says.

3. Facebook wants to be the lens through which you view the world.

It might not cost any money to use Facebook, but there are certain costs attached to using it. Gross says people pay for Facebook use "with your time and your data, because the more you use it, the more valuable you become to Facebook."

The problem with this, he says, is that kids begin to see the world using a "false lens." Instead of engaging in the real world, kids prefer to spend time using Facebook.

"Make sure your kids know that Facebook is a handy tool that can help them stay on the same page as their friends or classmates, that can help them schedule events, that can keep them up to date on the news," Gross suggests. "But then let them know that, when it comes to the world, nothing beats the real thing."

Lifestyle