How Many Likes Is Enough?
I live in the generation of social media: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest. A person today can be defined by the moments that fit into tiny squares faster than they can by their day-to-day actions and beliefs. We feel known, attached, and understood even by people we have never met, simply through a virtual connection. While the outlet of social media can be a positive and helpful tool for communication, it can also be destructive. Comparing and coveting stem from the belief that what we have, who we are, and what we stand for is not enough to satisfy us. Whether that is our appearance, our garments, our relationships, or our successes, there will always be someone who seems to have it more together than we do.
It seems that just when you are happy or satisfied with life, you log in, scroll through, and your heart drops. You may struggle with infertility and see a couple post news of yet another child joining their family. You may long for a way out of your addiction, a destructive relationship, or hope for a better future and seek affirmation through likes and comments on your social media. Do not think that you are alone.
For long I have used social media, or in this case, abused it. Instead of benefitting from the connections made through this tool in moderation, I have used it as a form of distraction. When I am waiting in line somewhere I scroll through my Instagram; if I am at a stoplight, I check my emails; When I am confronted with an awkward situation or simply don’t know what to do, I turn to my Facebook timeline. What is wrong with this?
What is wrong is that while I have been committing myself to a life focused on glorifying God, I have instead sought to glorify myself through attention and satisfaction from others. Although I have refrained from shopping for six weeks now and have seen a shift in my heart’s focus, I am constantly distracted by my phone, which allows another idol to enter where the other left. In order to further simplify and reduce the distractions that separate me from an intimate relationship with the Lord, I will abstain from social media for at least a week.
While that may not seem like a long time to some, think about how often you check social media. Do you check your phone when you first wake up? Do you spend hours of your day browsing through various profiles and desiring hundreds of likes on your photos? If so, please join me in this fast.
The Lord can alter the desires of your heart, I believe because He has done so in my life. If you have the desire to change, to not be controlled by something, to give your life into the hands of the One who formed you, He can and will use you. And please let me say that I absolutely DO NOT think that social media is a waste of time, but I do believe that if it consumes your thoughts, than it is controlling you.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this
Psalm 37: 4-5 NIV
May the Lord use this time of reprieve from social media to allow me to enter into His rest and to be present in each situation He has placed me in.
[Week 6 held a special day for one of my close friends–her wedding! While I forgot to get a picture with her, here are a few from that special day!]