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How Online Media Deforms Christian Disciples

June 7th, 2024 | 8 min read

By Skyler Flowers

There are some Twitter avatars or Facebook profiles that when they arrive on your timeline, you intuitively know what they are about to say, and you are provoked in one direction or another. Subtly, your sense of indignation or support is buoyed less by the individual’s profile before and more by the subgroup they represent that you either see yourself in or set yourself against. Without formal identification, there is a communal identity that we often take on that is not formed by our local community or ecclesial membership but by our online interaction. Not taking a name or forming a page, these groups are created by people’s choice of follows, replies, and interest. In other words, they are largely and subtly shaped by algorithms.

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Skyler Flowers

Skyler Reed Flowers (MDiv, Reformed Theological Seminary) is the associate program director at The Keller Center. He serves as an associate pastor at Grace Bible Church in Oxford, Mississippi. Skyler also serves on the steering committee for Rooted Ministries and is a producer for the As in Heaven podcast. He is married to Brianna, and they have a daughter, Beatrice.