Have you ever found yourself scrolling some social media feed until you realize it’s hours after you’d planned on doing something? I have, more times than I’d like to admit. I’m working on it.
You’ve probably read a couple articles about the dangers of social media (here’s a recent one). I often agree with what the authors say and even attempt to take their advice, which sticks for a day or two until I find myself stuck again.
I’m a people-pleaser who struggles with a good amount of FOMO (fear of missing out). Social media has become a place where I can please others with my likes or comments and look for the same affirmation in response to my posts. I’m able to keep up with friends’ happenings and share my own.
I’ve found myself habitually opening Instagram and watching my index finger go to town scrolling and double tapping (to like a post). It has become second nature. I “like” pretty things, thoughtful stories, and yummy recipes. I post my own content, but only after multiple takes, editing the picture, and thinking far too long about exactly what to say in the caption. I confess – I am a social media addict.
In my opinion, I like and post mostly good things. However, these good things can consume me– leading to comparison, judgment, and doubt.
With the help of community and journaling, I’ve become aware of the downfalls to social media. Awareness is the first step to change, but change has not come overnight. I’m working on it. Scratch that, God is working on it. His Spirit reveals and changes my heart as I seek Him. I’m not alone, thank goodness.
My biggest learn has been acknowledging my comparison. Oh, how quickly comparison becomes bitterness and resentment. But, we’re flat out told to not be bitter and to be kind to one another (Ephesians 4:31-32), so I must acknowledge where these thoughts take root.
I identify comparison by catching it in action. Comparing friendships – is she closer/cooler/more fun than me? Comparing spiritual maturity – are they further along/more prayerful/better than me? Comparing my body – is she stronger/skinnier/healthier than me?
My comparison reveals my desire to be the best and it’s ugly – it’s pride – sin at its finest. This sin (and all sin) leads to death (Ephesians 2:1). It’s no wonder that my habitual scrolls, likes, and posts rarely bring life. It makes sense that I don’t feel awesome after those unplanned hours spent on social media.
But what now – should I delete my social media accounts? Perhaps. Taking a break is not a bad idea.
For the time being, I’ve kept my accounts– work and personal– but I’ve learned to choose celebration over comparison.
Instead of comparing my friendships, I celebrate that my friends have solid community; we need others in our lives. I celebrate the spiritual maturity noticed in a friend, because that’s the Lord at work and it gives Him glory. I celebrate my friend’s health, that she is strong and beautiful.
We’re all looking for ways to toss the things that drain us. And while social media may be one of those things, I’m grateful for community that holds me accountable, and God’s Spirit at work in my heart. Ultimately, when time on social media comes from a place of celebration it brings life. Let’s choose celebration.