Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) wrote: “Why is it that people prefer to be addressed in groups rather than individually? Is it because conscience is one of life’s greatest inconveniences, a knife that cuts too deeply? We prefer to “be part of a group,” and to “form a party,” for if we are part of a group it means goodnight to conscience. We cannot be two or three, a “Miller Brothers and Company” around a conscience. No, no. The only thing the group secures is the abolition of conscience…. By forming a party, by melting into some group, we avoid not only conscience, but martyrdom. This is why fear of others dominates this world. No one dares to be a genuine self; everyone is hiding in some kind of “togetherness. Likewise, in the world of spirit, busyness, keeping up with others, hustling hither and yon, makes it almost impossible for an individual to form a heart, to become a responsible alive self. Every life that is preoccupied with being like others is a wasted life, a lost life.”
And so here is the irony of Facebook and Twitter. “Join Facebook”, “you need to be on Facebook”, “you need to be” in our group. You need to “join” us all in the same realm so you can be a part of our “group”. YET, once you join you are ‘boxed” into the most dangerous kind of “party” you could put yourself in. You thought “by melting into some group, we avoid not only conscience, but martyrdom”; but now you are completely exposed to the rest of the whole world to heap that very martyrdom on you in forms of “likes” and “dislikes”, “friend” and “unfriend” from the rest of the “group” that you thought you were exempt from.
Many lives are shocked and ruined thinking they were safe and on the right path by “following” the crowd. Thinking “to hide in the crowd, to be a little fraction of the group instead of being an individual, is my escape.” Yet you are not hidden in the “group”, you are now the most exposed you have ever been, unprepared for how deep that exposure goes and the most vulnerable you could ever place yourself in, especially the “youth” of the world!!! They have yet to form any kind of solid direction in life nor any kind of sense of self confidence. Integrity is completely foreign to them who are “following” anything that tickles their life or path from day to day. So they have no solid ground to stand on when the “group” attacks. Youth are not even aware of ANY concept of “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” James 4:4 All they know is how to “friend” everyone that they feel safe enough to accept. “15 Do not love the world or the things of the world. If someone loves the world, then love for the Father is not in him; 16 because all the things of the world — the desires of the old nature, the desires of the eyes, and the pretensions of life — are not from the Father but from the world.” 1 John 2:15-17
Not to mention social media is the ultimate “idol”. What used to be someone’s own ideology, belief, or mere dreams, that had to be slowly filtered into society and tested for it’s validity, is now just “posted” and instantly “followed” by hundreds of thousands so easily brainwashed by the wildest of notions. Worshiped in fact, in some cases as to now all of a sudden become true in the lives of many seekers. Idols that are clinged to until proven false instead of proven legit at all.
Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.1 John 5:21
Pressured into joining the “masses of mimickers, the crowd of copycats”, and “friending friends” and “likes” is not forming a “togetherness”, it’s not allowing you to “hide” behind anyone as you may have thought being in a “crowd” would do. If we prefer to be like all the others, this amounts to enmity with God as mentioned above. We who simply go along are guilty, and you risk being adulterous toward God. But since you are really totally “exposed” as an individual inside this ‘social’ area, your individualism is completely gone!!
Kierkegaard goes on to say: “True individuality is measured by this: how long or how far one can endure being alone without the understanding of others. The person who can endure being alone is poles apart from the “social mixer.” He is miles apart from the man-pleaser, the one who manages successfully with everyone – he who possesses no sharp edges. God is no friend of cozy human gathering. According to the New Testament to be a Christian means to be salt. Christianity addresses this question to each individual: Are you willing to be salt? Are you willing to be sacrificed, instead of belonging to the crowd, which seeks to profit from the sacrifice of others? Here again is the distinction: to be salt or to melt into the mass; to let others be sacrificed for us on behalf of the Truth or to let ourselves be sacrificed. Wanting to hide in the crowd, to be a little fraction of the group instead of being an individual, is the most corrupt of all escapes. And yet in “social media” it is really no escape at all. Granted, you might think it will make life easier, but it will do so by making it more thoughtless, and cost you much growth of individuality.”
It is a cop-out to make a racket along with a few others for a so-called “movement”. We ought, before God, to make up our own minds about our convictions, and then live them out regardless of the others. Eternity will single each person out as “individually” responsible. Every person must render account to God. You will be standing alone, by yourself, without that “group”, before God, on that day where He says He either knows you or not. (Matthew 7:21-23) No third person will be able to intrude upon this accounting. God in heaven does not talk to us as to an assembly; he speaks to each individually!! Right here on earth!! This is why the biggest lose of all is to be hidden away in a herd in an attempt to escape God’s personal address. In eternity each shall individually render an account. Eternity will examine each person for all that he has chosen and done as an individual before God.
It will be horrible on judgment day, when all souls come to life again, to stand utterly alone, alone and unknown by all, and yet candidly, exhaustively known by Him who knows all. Each one of us has the task of becoming a strong and God-fearing “individual”.