Social media doesn’t love you; it doesn’t even like you.
Sure, social media connects us to people, information, interaction and resources like nothing else, which is fantastic!
With instant access to social media in the palms of our hands, we can share what’s going on in our lives with loved ones and complete strangers.
I was 12 when I created my first social media account: Facebook. I BEGGED my parents to let me have it because they had it, my family had it and my classmates had it. I remember the thrill of being able to share whatever I wanted, have people like and comment, but most importantly for me I was a part of something. Everyone had Facebook, so why wouldn’t anyone want to be a part of it? Then, when Instagram came onto the scene, 15-year old me was so on it!
Little did I know that having social media at such a young age would really affect my self-esteem.
“She’s so pretty, I wish I looked like her”
“They got to go on a vacation, I wish I could go away on vacation.”
“Oh, my friends did something and didn’t invite me.”
“Look at what they got for Christmas! I only got a stocking…”
“I wish I could have a boyfriend too.”
I was content and grateful until I saw what other people had.
It took years of struggling with my self-esteem, studying about social media, and communications and public relations, as well as working in the field, for me to come to this:
Instagram doesn’t love you.
Facebook won’t validate you.
Pinterest isn’t going to give you your dream life.
But, friends, we can rest in these truths from our Heavenly Father:
Jesus loves you.
Jesus cares about your feelings.
Jesus will give you hope, joy, peace and wisdom about your life.
The world of social media marketing and entertainment technology wants to suck the life out of you: you scroll, waste hours of your day and wonder why your life isn’t better.
Is it all worth it?
Using social media with your eyes wide open, it can help put things into perspective.
Critical thinking is key to using social media. To keep it simple, it’s all about taking a step back and reminding yourself that the people in the photos are real, but it’s not an accurate portrayal of real life. It can also involve reminding yourself that life will never be perfect, and that’s okay!
So, when should you take a break or completely pull the plug on social media? When it steals your joy and threatens your sense of identity.
Matthew 16:26 tells us “For what will it benefit someone if he gains the whole world yet loses his life? Or what will anyone give in exchange for his life?” (CSB)
I’m going to be honest, some days I still struggle with social media and how it reminds me of the things I don’t have. But I have learned the power of putting my phone down for long periods of time, turning off push notifications for some apps and muting or unfollowing people. The “perfect Christian” woman or couple will never exist, but on social media, they appear to. I have chosen to unfollow or mute quite a few social media accounts recently because they reminded me of what’s missing and who I’m not.
What you feed your mind with will impact who you are, therefore, how you feel and what you do. If social media is causing you to feel discontent or ungrateful, take a break. I often rest on God’s truths about me, my life and my future when I feel the need to put my phone down, because then I don’t have to feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. I can put all that worry and anxiety onto God and just rest.
Social media doesn’t have to be your life; actually, it shouldn’t be! Connect with people beyond a screen, know your worth through Jesus, and take breaks. But make sure you aren’t just running away; do it for your overall health and well-being!
How do you deal when social media sucks the life out of you? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time,