Mirror, Mirror on my Facebook wall, am I better than them all? Let us scroll away to waste an hour and see… Okay, okay, my guess is that your main goal in being on social media is not to compare yourself and judge others but after a few minutes that is probably exactly what you are doing. You only opened the app to check on your notification but here you are an hour later scrolling. You ask yourself, how did I even get here? We all have been there, social media has a way of sucking us in and making us stay.
We inadvertently are just like the evil queen in Snow White, we want to be the fairest of them all, but instead of asking the magic mirror on the wall, we turn to our Facebook wall. Unfortunately, it lies to us and gives us a false sense of worth, which leaves us feeling disappointed in our own lives. Why does this happen? We are comparing our real lives to the highlight reel of others’ lives. The mirror on the wall in the story encourages the evil queen to use dark magic to get her way. If we are not careful our Facebook wall and social media can also convince us to join the dark side. We can get lost in the attraction of being seen and go overboard, over-sharing just to make others think we are better than we are.
In the past 20 years, social media has changed the face of our world and has taken its grip like nothing else we have ever seen. There are about 8 billion people in the world and over 4.2 billion use social media. That is right over half of the entire population! The average social media user spends 3 hours a day on social media, which is 12.5% of their entire day. If I person sleeps 8 hours a night that is18.75% of their waking hours. When we allow social media to take over that much of our time we have let it go too far. I heard a pastor once refer to social media as the devil’s playground. At the time I thought he was over exaggerating but, now I think he might have been right. Social media is highly addictive, and when it is not monitored it can influence us in a very dangerous way. God warns of this in 1 John 2:15-17;
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
I am not immune to the influence of social media… A few months ago I was challenged while reading a book to take a deeper look at my social media intake. I found that I was mindlessly scrolling instead of being productive. In order to overcome this, I set up a 2 hour limit on my phone that tracks my daily social media use. When I get close to my limit it sends me a warning and then at the 2-hour mark it blocks me from being able to use these apps. Since setting the limit I have felt more productive and less rushed in getting everything done each day. Although I thought I had it under control, in preparation for this post I checked to see what my weekly screen time was over the past few weeks. It told me that I was wasting a full day, 24 hours a week on my phone. Most of that time is spent on social media or messaging apps, yet only around an hour a week was spent on my bible app. I do a lot of reading that is not on my phone but my main source of The Bible is on my app. I was convinced by the fact that I am wasting a full day each week on my phone. That is a time in which I could spend with my husband, working out, praying, or reading God’s word. Needless to say, I am a work in progress.
There is a lot of bad that can come from social media, such as;
Our emotions began to be connected to how many followers or likes a post gets
We invite anyone and everyone into our lives, including people who shouldn’t be in our lives
Anyone can state their opinion as a fact, which leads to arguments in the comments
It is the perfect outlet to lead us to compare ourselves to others, or judge others for what they say and do
We open ourselves up to bullies and scams
You are always reachable but never really connected, which leads to a feeling of loneliness
We can use our accounts to brag about our lives and become stumbling blocks for others.
"Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak." 1 Corinthians 8:9
When we allow ourselves to get sucked into the bad of social media, we are conforming to what the world says is right and turning our back on God’s will.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” Romans 12:2-3
With all of that being said, I am not saying that all social media is bad and you should delete your accounts. Just like everything else, social media is good in the right quantity and that quantity is different for everyone. Social media is great for;
Communicating with friends and family that live far away
Reconnecting with old friends
Promoting business and blogs
Build a community like My Christian Walk (let’s be honest you wouldn’t be here without a social media post to promote this)
We can use our social media presence to lift up others and to share God’s love. Since what we post can be seen by so many it gives us the option to make a difference. It gives us the opportunity to spread love instead of hate. We can make our account represent our true selves instead of a fake image we want everyone to see so they envy us. We can ask for prayer in our struggles and be real in what you post.
My main goal of this post is to bring attention to the good and the bad of social media so that you can make the right decision for yourself. If you are looking to make a change in your social media intake here are a few suggestions that might help;
Set a limit on how much time you spend on social media
You can even set a limiter on your phone to hold you accountable like I did
Cut your phone off at night or leave it in another room
Delete the social media apps off your phone and only use the computer to get on the sites
Take a break from social media for a week or longer and see how you feel
Please feel free to share other suggestions in the comments below
I find it truly scary how much influence social media has on our lives. Social media is a can't live with it, can’t live without it type of thing. This is why I urge you to take the time to think about the influence social media has over you and make any changes to free yourself from its grip. When we are devoting more time to our social media presence than our spiritual presence, it is time for a change. Let me leave you with this, 2 Timothy 3: 15-17 says;
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
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