Group Think: Idol of Self Preservation

“Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33, English Standard Version).

The psychological state of deindividuation has never been so apparent now. Women march with obscenities on their heads, fighting for the right to murder their children while asking for support to set the Whitehouse ablaze.

When we are talking about deindividuation, one thing that the text does not mention is the perception of being a part of a crowd. Unfortunately, social media has supplied that platform, and I have seen many Christians fall into this satanic trap of conforming to what “seems” to be the norm.

Many have laid down their cross at the feet of a reduced self-awareness. Being anonymous on a social platform allows for increased conformity – even when it goes against Christian commands.

The need to feel relevant and accepted by others is an idol.

Psychology refers to this as a form of evaluation apprehension – when we are more concerned about others’ evaluations of us than having a fear of the Lord God, as we should.

“Woe to you when all people speak well of you…” (Luke 6:26a, ESV). 

But, as Branscombe & Baron (2017) state, change can occur when there is a “shift in norms,” and individuals marginalize the few who are creating the conflict. I believe we see this with the several states taking action against the perceived “norm” and passing heart-beat legislation.

As we see the bad with the use of social media, we can also see the good. The opportunities to encourage those fighting the good fight of faith can be encouraged them to continue their fight – this encouragement and support reduce laziness or “social loafing” by Christians who have become complacent – or defeated in their efforts. This form of drive theory social facilitation can increase the arousal of the Spirit – by “fanning into flame the gift(s) of God” (2 Tim 1:6, ESV) – just a little encouragement from a godly perspective can change everything.

Branscombe, N. R., & Baron, R. A. (2017). Social Psychology (14th ed.). NY, NY: Pearson.