Digitally Induced Depression

Computers control your life in ways you do not even realize, especially in your emotional health. Countless souls suffer from depression because of the technology that is at their fingertips on a moment-by-moment basis. Christians are not exempt.

The positive contribution of computers cannot be denied, but, if misused, they can be very destructive. Social media platforms like Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok have been shown to negatively shape their users’ opinions of themselves, plunging many into a dismal state of despair.

How do you get rid of this “digitally induced depression”? Practice the three principles of 2 Timothy 2:22 which says, “Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart”.

Cancel Carnal Connections

“Flee also youthful lusts…” (verse 22a)

The Greek word for “flee” is “pheugo”. From it, comes the English word for “fugitive”. So, like a man on the run, you should do everything possible to escape capture by computerized carnality. The problem is that your phone is at your side 24/7. That makes it hard to cancel your connections to many of the social media sites on your device, but that is exactly what many need to do.

Jaron Lanier agrees. He is a Silicon Valley insider also known as “The Founder of Virtual Reality”. He is currently Interdisciplinary Scientist at Microsoft Research. In his book, Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts (2018), Lanier lists reason #7 as “social media tends to make people less happy”.

He writes, “Facebook even demonstrated that they could impact the emotional state of users to be happier or sadder by showing more positive or negative posts.” He explains: “what makes him unhappy about social media…mostly revolves around the feeling of being ranked. We are ranked on social media through a count of the number of friends, or the number of likes our posts receive”.

Also, image-inspired Instagram has been reported to cause many young people to feel depressed about their bodies. Many of them use social media to curate what appears to be the perfect life. They meticulously create online profiles that promote themselves as beautiful, happy, and successful. They portray themselves as having no problems because they do not want to be rejected by others.

This is not just a problem for teenagers, but for adults also. Is there any better reason to “flee from these youthful lusts”, “cancelling all carnal connections” on your computers? Remove the things from your phone or device that are depressing you. You will cut down on destructive messages and lustful distractions. It will add some peace to your life.

Chase Consecrated Conduct

“…pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace…” (verse 22b)

The Greek word for “pursue” is “dioko”. It means to “follow in hot pursuit”. It describes a “chase”. That is the way you should follow Christ and His attributes of “righteousness, faith, love, and peace”. This should be your goal in life. 2 Timothy 2:22 is very practical in that it not only tells from what you should run, but also to what you must run. It tells you upon what to daily focus.

Paul teaches what should occupy your attention in Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate (think) on these things”.

In Philippians 4:8, the Greek word for “meditate (think)” is “logizomai”. From it, derives the English word, “log”. So, before you “log in” to your computer, “log on” to God through prayer and the Bible study. It will help you “chase consecrated conduct”. That should be in the forefront of your mind because the Bible says, “For as (a man) thinks within himself, so he is.” (Proverbs 23:7 NASB).

Cultivate Christian Companionship

“…with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (verse 22c)

You need to build relationships that encourage you to be more like Christ. Your friends are either bringing you up or bringing you down. Choose those that have a sanctifying effect on your life. Prayerfulness is a characteristic you should look for in a friend.


Develop face-to-face, not screen-to-screen friendships. Choose in-person over online contacts. In his newly released book, Following Jesus in a Digital Age (2022), Jason Thacker, chair of Research in Technology at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, warns of the isolation and social polarization that comes from exclusively electronic relationships.

He writes “…the best thing you can do for your soul is to find your identity, meaning, shelter, significance, purpose and place in the right source, which is in the Lord, and by extension, also in the community of his church…the reason you do not need a digitally crafted identity is because you already have a place to belong” (page 135). That “place” is Jesus and His church.

Watch for resources that will follow Thacker’s book: a corresponding Bible study with Lifeway Adults on similar topics to Following Jesus in a Digital Age; and a Guidebook for students and teenagers about social media set for release in January 2023 by Christian Focus. These discipleship materials are meant to be done in a group setting, fostering the goal of “cultivating Christian companionship”.


Whether in a Bible study group or meeting a friend for a meal, make sure you are getting with other believers on a regular basis. And when you do, turn off your phone. It will go a long way toward helping you remove “digitally induced depression”.



keep calm

Keep Calm

Keep Calm and Carry On was a poster created by the British government to inspire their people before World War II. The placard was intended to encourage the panicked English population during the threat of Nazi air raids. The crown pictured on the top of the poster was meant to give the impression of an

Read More
red light bulb

Inspired in a Dark Place

Austin Miles was an amateur photographer. He discovered he could read his Bible in the red lighting of a darkroom. He would often peruse Scripture while he waited for his pictures to develop. On March 1912, while awaiting the photo developing process to finish, Miles picked up his Bible. It fell open to John 20.

Read More


Demonization (Part 2) Mark 5:11-20 This is the second blog in my series on “Demonization” from Mark 5. Last month’s post covered verses 1-10 from the same chapter. This month’s blog is from verses 11-20. Here, we see three significant “departures” on the same date in Jesus’ encounter with this demoniac who was possessed by

Read More