Why I'm Telling Social Media Who's Boss.

I'm always talking to the girls in our youth group about how consuming social media can be. I tell them to be careful not to look for approval through how many likes their selfies get. I tell them to spend less time on their phones, and more time with people. 
Wellll, God has been nudging on my heart that maybe it doesn't just apply to them. Maybe I need to evaluate the way I use social media too. For a long time, I have convinced myself that my relationship with social media is totally healthy. 

You guessed it, I have just displayed the first sign of a problem: denial. 

So, since I am now admitting my struggle, I began to ask myself two questions:
What is my motivation? Where is my heart? 

The problem is that most of us have never asked these questions. We don't question our use of social media. We have a profile because everyone else does. We check it because we have to see what notification just popped on our phone. There's no thought about any of it; it's just simply routine. This; however, is a very dangerous place to be, with ANYTHING! When we don't think about why we are doing something, we will often abuse it. This is why social media runs away with so much of our time and can even rob us of the vision we had for our lives. 
I have found myself wanting to look cute, wanting to make cute food, and wanting to have the cutest decorations not because I am passionate about cuteness, but because I want to take a picture and post it. How dumb is that?! I am sure there are plenty of people in the world who are content with giving off this perfect image, all while knowing it's fake. I am not one of those people. Frankly, I don't care if I look like the cutiest cutie pie you ever did see when you look at me online. I want to actually BE a person of worth. I want to DO things that matter. I am in no way saying that posting on social media negates the reality of the good things in our lives; rather I am challenging all of us to question the motivation for the things that we post. 

I have decided that I am telling social media who is boss. I make the rules here, mister. 

To begin living an intentional life through social media, I will filter the things I post through my personal purposes for social media. 
#1 The first purpose of social media is the purpose for everything I do: to love God, and to love people with His love.
I believe social media is a powerful force for inspiring people, sharing God's Word, and being a light in a dark world. I have been told by many people how certain things I have posted or shared have encouraged people. Therefore, I will continue to post things that fit within this purpose. 
#2 The second purpose of social media is to share life events with the people I love.
This one is trickier though, and here is why. If you think you are legitimately maintaing a friendship through social media you are kidding yourself. That's not a friendship. The people that are close to me are the people I actually talk to. They are the people that know what is going on beyond the pictures and statuses. As much as I love seeing a picture of a friend's french toast, do I know how to pray for her? Am I being a friend? Do I know how she feels today? Of course not. Then again, I may have a very good idea about her opinion of french toast. It's #yummy or #foodcoma ....or something like that. I don't know about you, but I want real relationships. I am not satisfied with the little snippets I see on social media. And I refuse to settle for that quality of relationship. Therefore, I will spend less time posting about things that really don't show the people I love what's actually going on. Instead, I'm going to dial their number and listen to their voice. Instead, I'm going to mail them a letter. Imagine that! 

Also, confession: a big reason I thrive on social media is that I'm nosey. And you know what? I don't need to be. The people that matter in my life would call me and update me on important issues before Facebook even had a clue. I've got better things to do than watch boy and girl break up and get back together every other week. 

Confession number 2: I am not a hipster. Shocker, I know. I find myself almost wanting to be sometimes, though. I find myself conforming to little hipster-y things. And that's just not me. There's nothing wrong with it, except that I am making decisions based on other people and not on what makes me, me. 

Maybe some people will think I am taking this way too seriously. I am hoping though, that some others will seriously evaluate their own hearts like I have evaluated mine. I feel a freedom in realizing these things when I didn't even notice I was being held back. You don't have anything to prove to anyone. You are beautiful. You are special. You are talented in your own way. I am praying I spend more time believing that and less time trying to show it off. 


Comments

  1. So does that mean, you're going to delete nearly 2,000 friends you have on your FB account? I play 3 different games using my FB account and it is a great pasttime for me, especially during these winter months. I can honestly say, that most of the stuff that shows up on my linefeed, I really don't pay much attention, and every so often I have deleted Friends who I do not actively converse with. It's a good idea you have, get rid of all those Friends you have and now I'm WAITING for a Skype call from my "precious" Patricia. Love and more love, GMP

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I am not deleting anyone. I am just evaluating my motivation for how I personally spend time on social media and the things I post. It will be different for everyone! We all have to look at our own hearts and how we spend our time.
      Love you! Will skype soon!

      Delete
  2. Patricia, I love this! Such a great perspective. I struggle with taking the step to pick up the phone thinking "well they are probably busy, I'm sure they don't have time for me." or "if they wanted to tell me about their life, wouldn't they have called me?" I know I need to push past that and call anyways.....but many times it is easier to be in the know via facebook and hope that it will someday rekindle itself into a real friendship....oh social media and the way it wrecks our relationships!
    Thanks for the reminder that I need to stop depending on social media to keep me up to date on my dearest friends' lives.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome Kimmy! Such an easy trap to fall into!
      Love and miss you!

      Delete

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