Written by Conor Sweetman

Unbeknownst to the writers, three of the articles featured in this issue open with the illustration of waking up in the morning and immediately filling our eyes with the artificial light of our mobile phone.

This pattern shows the extent to which most of us live with our phones as an extension of our selves, even in the first moments of our morning. Google has our deepest questions saved in its history, Facebook has our greatest accomplishments ranked according to the number of likes, Instagram reveals the aesthetic portrayal of our life’s photo album, Twitter holds the fleeting information that has kept our political interests preoccupied. Our phone might know us better than we know ourselves.

There are thousands of articles on the revolutionary effect of technology and the dangers and discoveries that come along with it, so we won’t take that tired approach. Instead, this issue of Love Is Moving takes a deep dive into how social media influences our spiritual lives.

The buzzwords around this topic are plenty: affirmation, authenticity, comparison, celebration, fakeness, followers… the list goes on. So, our writers tackle how to live in a world where these words dominate our experience online and in-person.

We often find ourselves trying to “live our best life” while at the same time “picking up our cross daily and following Jesus.” What are we to do when we can’t simply look at our WWJD bracelet to find the answers on how to engage responsibly and honourably to the opportunities and pitfalls that social media affords us?

Our cover story sheds some light on how the depths of the Christian life can interact with the shallowness of the social media landscape. In our interview with Justin Stuart—a YouTube prankster with millions of subscribers—we take steps into the tricky terrain of identity, intentionality, and using these platforms positively.

Further, this issue features articles about “What Modelling Taught Me About Affirmation,” “Confronting Poverty Through Technology,” “Screenagers and the Need for Authenticity,” “Terror in Toronto: A Community Called to Action,” and the power of legacy from a young missionary’s life cut short.

In a world where technology and media influence a wide range of realms, we need to keep looking at how social media informs, shapes, and speaks into the depths of our relationship with Christ and the lives that proceed from it.

Sit back and enjoy, whether through the screen of your phone or good old-fashioned print and paper.

Conor Sweetman

Issue 27 Contents — Click on the link to read!

Student Side:

A Small Step in the Same Direction — Morgan Mitchell
Dreams Uncuffed: Legacy of a Life Cut Short — Alyssa Redner
Beautifully Simple — Josiah Piett
What Modelling Taught Me About Affirmation — Katie Pezzutto
1,000,000 Followers Later — Justin Stuart
Starting with the Light — Cassandra Wolfe
Crowd Pleasers vs Crowd Servers — Grace Harman
Information Isn’t Knowledge — Hannah Trail
Confronting Poverty Through Technology — Alyssa Esparaz
Can I Be Confident in Knowing God’s Will? — Erin Ford
Terror in Toronto — Laura Puiras

Leader Side:
“I Never Wanted to Do This…” — Joerg Wacker
A Refugee’s Miracle — Daniel Kim
Be Social: For Creative Pastors — Angel Kivia
Loving Willowdale: Before & After the Van Attack — Joel Gordon
Social Media Does Not Know God’s Plan for You — Angela Jones
Power in Christian Families — Kevin Haggarty
Do I Dare Go Public With My Faith? — Corey Porter
A Wild Ride — Alex Street
Screenagers and the Need for Authenticity — Alex Street