Friday, January 17, 2014

Is social media keeping you from reality?

How long do you spend reading about other people's lives on Facebook, browsing through adorable homes on Pinterest and living vicariously through others experiences on Instagram rather than enjoying your own life.
I mean honestly.

I often make excuses for the amount of time I spend on Facebook or "doing" some form a social media claiming that I am encouraging others or trying to stay connected, However, it dawned on me recently how much of an impact social media was having on my life. 

1. I was wasting my time on Social Media
Since I had the Facebook App on my phone, it was so easy for me to get caught up in reading status updates, browsing through pictures and just getting lost in other people's worlds. Ironically enough, that time I spent in other people's worlds was precious time wasted in my own world. It was nothing for me to check Facebook several times an hour! Think of all the time wasted!

Ephesians 5:15-16
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

Is Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram the best use of my time? Probably not. I don't think there's anything wrong with utilizing them properly. But to spend hours just browsing definitely doesn't seem like a good use of time.

2. Social Media was encouraging me to compare.

Most people share their best stories, cutest photos and funniest videos. Their pictures are of the best room in their house and their most delicious looking dinner. I know that's how I roll! I don't often see ugly photos, videos of kids screaming, piles of dirty laundry or dinner fails. So quite honestly, social media is far from reality.
Looking at only the positives of other people's lives was causing me to compare, and not in a good way!
The constant filling of my mind with other people's best moments was causing me to become discontent with my normal moments. 

2 Corinthians 10:12
Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.

If I didn't know any better, I would say Paul was talking about Facebook! Ok, so I know that's out of context of course, but I think the principle still applies. Comparing is dangerous and can lead to the following issue.

3. Social Media was breeding discontentment in my life.

No matter who you are, what you spend your time on will affect you in some way. As I got caught up in the spirit of comparison, a little seed of discontentment started to grow and my perspective of my own life began to be skewed. I started to have thoughts like,

I wish I could go there on vacation
My kitchen never looks like that
Her baby sleeps through the night, why won't mine?
I wish I had the money to afford what that person has
I wish I had the creativity to come up with that
They must be happier than I am

I am ashamed to admit that I allowed those thoughts to creep in. As I was having time with the Lord and reflecting on this, I realized that something needed to change. I couldn't allow this to go on in my life or it was going to destroy me.

So what's the solution?
Well, for me personally, I have decided to take action against wasting time! As the Holy Spirit convicted me about this issue, I deleted the Facebook App from my phone so that it's not there to tempt me. You have no idea how many times I've wanted to download it back on my phone just to "check something"! However, if it is important enough, I can use my computer and limit my time. 
I've also decided to replace Facebook with a better use of my time. So when I am sitting rocking my sweek pea and really want to check my Facebook, I have several Christian e-books downloaded on my phone that I can read, I can listen to a sermon on podcast, read the Bible on my phone, pray, or just be in the moment and put my phone down.

I have decided to take it a step further and rather than just eliminating the issue, work towards the opposite result: gratitude, thankfulness and contentment.
Each day, I make it a point to journal, thanking the Lord for something in my life. It's amazing how many things I take for granted each day. It's also amazing how fostering an attitude of gratefulness can change your perspective on life.

1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

As I have taken a step back from my social media "reality", I have become so grateful for the life that the Lord has blessed me with. It is easy to assume that someone else has it better than you when in reality, we all have our struggles, our weaknesses, our bad moments, and bad days, we just don't share them with the world! I still enjoy social media and staying in touch with others and even sharing my happy moments. However, I'm happy to be back in my own world with a realistic perspective of my life.

Not everyone may be affected the way I was, but I hope this encourages you to take a step back and examine where your heart lies in regards to social media! It can be such a helpful tool, and lots of fun, but it can also be very dangerous and take away your joy. It's not worth that.
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Colossians 3:17 
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

13 comments:

  1. Great post! I agree. :) I try to live life enjoying the little moments & not compare myself to others...it's my life and it is what it is!

    xo
    Megan

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  2. I found you on Inspire Me Monday. I really like your angle. I really limit my social media time because it's so much better to be in the real world!

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  3. This is so relateable to anyone (especially women I think) and so true! Good for you for letting the Lord speak to you in such a way!

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  4. I think , like anything else we need to seek to examine ourselves. There are times we might slip into behaviors that are not altogether bad, but come down to "not the best choice for me now". I love the way you examined your actions in light of scripture and then took action to modify! It's a life of grace lived out in the daily choices and we make, and the good news is, when we seek truth, wisdom, discernment, God is honored, we are blessed and we shine forth to others!

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  5. This is what I needed to read today. Thank you

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  6. Great post. Things I have often thought about. It's so hard sometimes when you're constantly moving around with the military, and it's such a great way to stay connected with old friends and family far away!

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  7. Thank you. I am always try to find the best balance in my life too. God bless you on your journey!

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  8. I love how you've tied your reasons back to Scripture! I, too, can easily be sucked into a lot of wasted time on social media. It's not how I want my kids to remember my days at home with them.

    Visiting you from Family Fun Friday - thanks for linking up!

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  9. I love this post. It is amazing how much time people spend being sucked in to social media. There's nothing wrong with social media, but it shouldn't become a replacement for things you could be doing in your daily world. I know I need to work on things. This post is a great reminder. Thanks!

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  10. Oh this is awesome. It's amazing how social media can draw us in, and take hold of our hearts and our lives. You addressed it so perfectly and with such honesty in how it affects you. Applying His Truth to it all is key, and I think we ALL need to assess the impact of it in our lives and in our hearts regularly.

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  11. Faith - You won Family Fun Friday! Please let me know what type of reading you like to do and I'll send you an eBook from my library of books. :-) Congrats!

    Monica

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  12. You go girl! I just had a friend tell me she had to delete her whole facebook cause she literally couldn't stop checking it :( We are so obsessed and this has never been something generations past have even thought about! I have been SO challenged to spend the time I am nursing to pray :) instead of browse! great post!

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  13. So true. Great post. I need to quit getting on Facebook so often. It s like some kind of addiction.
    Angela @ Time with A & N

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