Would you rather be liked online—or loved in person? Social media can be great. But for girls growing up in a generation saturated with social media, getting enough “likes,” comments, and online friends can become an unhealthy obsession.
What problems are you addressing in the book?
Kari Kampakis: Liked addresses four primary topics: identity, social media, friendship, and faith. I dove into these because they’re so relevant to the lives of teen and tween girls, and they all tie together. My goal with Liked is to help girls tune into the quiet voice of God inside them over the megaphone of public opinion, and to trust Him when making decisions, understanding their worth, and searching for who they are.
Why can social media be so damaging to girls?
Kari Kampakis: Like most things, social media has an upside and a downside. It can be used for good—to spread positivity and hope—or it can be used in narcissistic or hurtful ways. In today’s world, social media is often seen as a way to get famous, get even, or get attention. It doesn’t matter what you post as long as you attract a large following and get tons of likes and shares. Girls who buy into this will end up making some poor choices and will give social media a power it doesn’t deserve: the power to dictate their worth based on the fleeting opinions of people rather than the timeless truths of God.
This can be especially damaging for teen and tween girls because they’re figuring out their identity. They aren’t firm in who they are yet, and if they rely on the world to shape them and define them, they’ll end up disillusioned and disappointed. This is why I’m passionate about helping girls find their identity in Christ and things with eternal value, because that is what takes their lives in a meaningful direction.
How should girls incorporate the Bible into their social networking lives?
Kari Kampakis: The best way for girls to incorporate the Bible into their social networking lives is to pick a goal that pleases God. One verse I like is Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
This verse is a great filter for social media. It’s a reminder that God is found in the good, and by posting things that reflect his light—that is, a picture of a baby cousin, a birthday tribute to a friend, a rainbow over the ball field—you honor God and potentially inspire others to do the same.
What are 10 biblical truths about self-worth and how should girls live by them?
Kari Kampakis: In Liked, the chapter on confidence begins with this: “What other people say about you is opinion. What God says about you is fact. The way to know your worth is to focus on the facts.” Here are 10 biblical truths to support that:
- I am made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-28), and I have great potential to grow more like Him and reflect His goodness to others.
- God is within me, so I will not fall (Psalm 46:5).
- Nothing can separate me from the love of God that I receive through Christ (Romans 8:39).
- God has begun a good work in me, and He’ll continue that work until the day Jesus returns (Philippians 1:6).
- God’s love toward me is great (Psalm 86:13).
- God’s plan for me is worth the wait (Jeremiah 29:11).
- Everything God makes, including me, is good (Genesis 1:31).
- I can confidently trust the Lord to care for me and not fear bad news (Psalm 112:7).
- Jesus looks for me when I’m lost (Matthew 18:12-14).
- The world needs my light because God created me to shine for Him (Matthew 5:14-16).
The way to live by truths is to truly embrace them, and to tuck them away in your heart so that when heartaches or disappointments arise, you can counsel yourself with what you know to be true deep down—regardless of what the world says.
What are your thoughts about Bible Gateway and the Bible Gateway App?
Kari Kampakis: I love Bible Gateway! It makes my job much easier by literally putting Scripture at my fingertips. Both my books include Scripture, and while writing the manuscripts I often visited Bible Gateway to get precise wording or search for a verse related to a subject. In addition to being a credible resource, Bible Gateway is user-friendly and a fantastic tool to help spread the Gospel.
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Kari Kampakis: Parents often tell me they wish social media would go away. They see no benefit, only the harmful and negative effects. I agree there is great danger we need to protect our kids from, but I also believe social media presents a huge opportunity to create good. It gives every individual a stage and a microphone to easily and quickly share messages that might help or inspire people. Rather than fight social media and treat it as the enemy, I believe we should empower our kids to use it wisely. After all, they were created for this moment in time, designed for the digital age, and as far as I can tell, social media will only become a bigger part of the world that they are growing up in.
Bio: Kari Kampakis is a blogger, author, speaker, and newspaper columnist from Birmingham, Alabama. Her first book, 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know, has been used widely across the country by teen youth groups and small groups to empower girls through faith.
Kari’s work has been featured on The Huffington Post, TODAY Parents, and other national outlets. She and her husband, Harry, have four daughters and a dog named Lola. Learn more by visiting karikampakis.com or finding Kari on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
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