Are you addicted to the ding? I suppose I am, if I think about it. I can see it for myself, in myself… I’m addicted to social media notifications. I can crave “feeds”…. updates, messages, tags, likes, etc. What started as a tool to help me stay connected is now manipulating my behavior by sending me “custom” feeds that move me towards their desired purposes. I recently watched “/The Social Media Dilemma” on Netflix and my eyes were opened. For instance, only two businesses call their customers users: drug dealers and social media.

Ok, so social media (plural) gets us addicted so they can make money… selling us to businesses. We think we’re consumers, but we are actually the product being sold. That should bother us. Especially when we consider who’s buying. Businesses (and even governments) all over the world are buying our preferences to exert power and influence over us on social media to accomplish their purposes. We all need to be more careful and less influenced.

Why is this important to international students? You are the future leaders of the world, and you’re here learning how to create, interpret, analyze, utilize and disseminate information. As your power and influence grows, things will change. Our prayer is that you will consider future generations, and seek to make the world a better place with more love and less manipulation.

Sooooo, is it ok for us to ask you to like us on social media? This is the social media dilemma. How do we keep what’s meant for good from doing harm? We believe it begins with an understanding that God created us all to live in social communities where we care for one another. ISC has been creating social communities on the campus of ASU for over 35 years. That’s pretty likeable, right?