Social Media Pressure: Finding Peace Alongside Jesus

John Perritt
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Social Media Pressure helps show why social media can leave you feeling sad, anxious, and depressed and points to practical ways of turning to Jesus for rest and wholeness. 

Statistics show that we (especially teens) spend most of our waking hours on screens, without a lot of direction on managing our online life. In this devotional, John Perritt, a longtime youth pastor, will guide you in making sure that your relationship with God remains at the center of your life without letting your phone take over. 

The devotionals address social media pressures including the fear of missing out, comparing yourself with others, being bullied, and even being addicted. They will help you interact with social media in a way that is sensible, smart, and even biblical, while at the same time finding the peace that comes with walking alongside Jesus.

Social Media Pressure is the second book in the Devotions for Teenagers series. 

  • Helps uncover the underlying reasons for the pressures experienced by interacting online.
  • Each devotional includes an “Alongside Practice” that encourages specific, healthy habits that will bring peace in daily life.
  • Encourages conversations with trusted adults, aka “Alongsiders,” to read, discuss, and pray about the truths of each devotion with you. 


John Perritt, DMin, serves as the Director of Resources for Reformed Youth Ministries and has served in student ministry for over twenty years. He is the host of The Local Youth Worker podcast. John is the author of several books, including Mark: How Jesus Changes Everything and Social Media Pressure. He and his wife, Ashleigh, have five children and live in Ridgeland, MS. 

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“My goodness, this book is important! What John accomplishes here is so vital not only for the young—but for all of us. Here is a word of peace over the chaos of social media. And boy do we need it. This is a much-needed book in a world that is fragmenting.”
A.J. Swoboda, Associate professor of Bible, Theology, and World Christianity, Bushnell University; author of After Doubt and Subversive Sabbath 

“I write about Christians and our relationship with social media, and I have to say this book handles the topic of social media and youth very well. But what I love most about this book is John’s heart. John cares for students and wants them to thrive in a relationship with Jesus, and that is evident in this book.”
Chris Martin,
Author of Terms of Service: The Real Cost of Social Media and The Wolf in Their Pocket; content marketing editor, Moody Publishers; social media and communications consultant

“This clear-eyed, compelling, and challenging devotional is perfect for teens or young adults (as well as their parents or youth leaders) who are serious about following Jesus in a digital age. John Perritt leads readers to examine their habits, identify their sin, and begin to interact with social media in a healthy, purposeful way. This would work well for individual devotions but even better as a study for youth groups or campus ministries to do together.”
Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra, Senior Writer, The Gospel Coalition; coauthor of Gospelbound: Living with Resolute Hope in an Anxious Age; editor of Social Sanity in an Insta World

“As filmmakers, we are passionate about using storytelling as a teaching medium. When reading Social Media Pressure, we were struck by Perritt’s ability to use compelling stories in every chapter of this book to help teens walk through the impact of technology in their lives. This book is an absolute recommend.”
Jacob Valk and John-Michael Bout, Directors of the Into the Light documentary

"This little book is a rich and accessible resource for teenagers (and the rest of us) to dig deep into the ways that our use of social media is shaping our view of the world and encourages us to live a life of devotion to God in our digital age. John goes beyond trite platitudes of merely reining in screen time and helps to expose the motivations that drive our sometimes-compulsive use of our phones. It is full of both biblical truth and practical wisdom with engaging questions and ample space for honest reflection."
Jason Thacker, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, Boyce College, Louisville, KY; author of Following Jesus in a Digital Age and A Student's Guide to Social Media

Social Media Pressure is convicting and practical. Perritt opens God's Word for teens (and adults!) and shows us what social media habits teach about our hearts. I love the practice sections in each devotional that give wise counsel for building new smartphone habits.”
Jared Kennedy, Editor, The Gospel Coalition; author of The Beginner's Gospel Story Bible and Keeping Your Children's Ministry on Mission

“Complicated relationship with your phone? John gets it. Here he welcomes us to a safe place to ponder it with Jesus. His stories help us feel seen, and the Scripture passages and songs help us feel known by our Creator. The simple, creative experiments invite us to try something new each week toward healing our phone anxieties.”
Tasha Chapman, Professor of Educational Ministries, Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis. MO; coauthor of The Politics of Ministry and Resilient Ministry; contributor to the ESV Women’s Devotional Bible (Crossway, 2014).

Social Media Pressure opened my heart and eyes . . . to myself! John Perritt's gentle and encouraging way of applying biblical truth to teens and their social media usage touches on ways that all of our hearts need help. Grab several copies of this practical, street-level devotional, give them away to teens in your life, and keep one for yourself!”
Ellen Mary Dykas, Bible teacher; author of Toxic Relationships: Taking Refuge in Christ

“John Perritt is a wise and biblical guide for students who want to prayerfully evaluate their relationship with their phones in light of their relationship with Christ. This is an especially good family devotional for parents to read with their young teen before handing them a smartphone.”
Mike McGarry, Director, Youth Pastor Theologian; author of Discover: Questioning Your Way to Faith, Lead Them to Jesus, and A Biblical Theology of Youth Ministry 

“Not many of us doubt our young people (and ourselves!) need to think more carefully about how we engage with social media and how it is (mis)shaping us. John Perritt has written a book for teens that is filled with relatable stories, meaningful Scriptural reflection, and wise application. This book would be great for a youth group to go through together, to foster more intimacy with God and a stronger community of living faith.”
Kelly M. Kapic, Author of You’re Only Human

“The pressures teens face from social media are immense, often leading to loneliness, discouragement, insecurity, and anxiety. But there is hope. With a compassionate understanding of the hardships of social media and a deep conviction of Christ’s kindness and presence, John offers wisdom on navigating social media in a God-honoring way. His book is immensely practical, inviting teens to journey with him and suggesting various practices and habits for wise living in this digital age. And undergirding this, at the heart of Social Media Pressure is the truth that we belong to a God who loves us and is with us every moment.”
Aubrynn Whitted, Communications and Marketing, Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF); blogger for scrupulosity/religious OCD at

“I love John's heart for students and I've long admired his ability to connect with them and connect them with God. Like many of us though, John sees the dangers of digital connections that undermine our connection with God and one another. That's why I'm so glad he's written this devotional to help the young (and the not-so-young) resist and manage social media pressure in our daily lives.”
David Murray, Senior Pastor, First Byron CRC. Author of Jesus on Every Page, Reset, the StoryChanger, and other books

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3 Reviews

  • 5
    Practical Devotional

    Posted by Anne Dryburgh on 07 12 2023

    Probably all of us know people who struggle with anxiety and depression that is in some way related to their social media use. John Perritt, in Social Media Pressure: Finding Peace Alongside Jesus is written as a response. He writes about a number of ways in which people’s relationships, mental health, and perception of the world around them are affected by the way they use social media. Perritt gives advice about how people can gain more peace in their lives, how they can relate more thoughtfully, and how they can recognize when they are addicted. Social Media Pressure is a helpful book that gives some basic guidelines about using social media in a healthy way.

  • 5

    Posted by elizabeth brooks on 06 13 2023

    As a mom of two young girls with phones, I understand the importance of guiding them on how to navigate social media while keeping their relationship with God at the center of their lives. That’s why I found John Perritt’s book, Social Media Pressure: Finding Peace Alongside Jesus, to be incredibly helpful. Perritt addresses the negative effects of social media and provides practical advice on how to engage with it in a healthy way. The book is formatted as a daily devotional, which fosters reflection on how social media impacts us and how we can turn to Jesus for rest and wholeness. I appreciate that each week includes a weekend conversation section for the teen to have with their “Alongsider,” a parent, mentor, or friend, to read and discuss each devotion with. This book is an important resource for parents and youth leaders to help teenagers navigate the pressures of social media while keeping their relationship with Jesus at the forefront. I have received this product from New Growth Press in exchange for my honest and unbiased product review; all opinions are my own.*

  • 5
    Tame the Social Media Beast - for teens

    Posted by SHIRLEY ALARIE on 05 17 2023

    Are you a parent of a teen, a youth minister or counselor? Social Media Pressure is a book for the teens you know! We all know the convenience of modern technology and we all know how it’s changing life as we knew it. We know cell phone overuse has negative consequences on people, especially our impressionable youth. And we know it isn’t going away. So how do we provide our youth with better tools for handling the addictive tendencies that come with social media and cell phones? Social Media Pressure is a great starting point, with the goal of helping teens find peace alongside Jesus. This 4-week devotional frames all the social media challenges in terms of Scripture, describes real-life examples, and provides excellent food for thought. Each topic ends with practical steps teens can take to change their current mindset or habits. The daily commitment is only a couple of pages to read for 4 days per week. Weekends are only food for thought. It’s designed perfectly for teens who don’t want to spend a lot of time reading and reflecting! I love the idea of the reader inviting an “Alongsider” to accompany them on the journey – because the topics are definitely suited for frank and introspective discussion. Author John Perritt doesn’t shy away from the hard truth of the evils that lurk within social media, including envy, jealousy, and lust. Instead, he calls each demon into the light and forces it into full view, so the reader can acknowledge the effects of social media on their own life and make adjustments accordingly. Above all, Social Media Pressure directs teen readers to the only true source of happiness and contentment – that is Jesus Christ. Any other substitute leaves us hollow. I would encourage any parent to read this book, whether or not they are an ‘Alongsider’. As adults and parents, the topics included in Social Media Pressure impact all of us, and we would all be better off reflecting on the grip social media has on our own lives.

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