News and Current Events
How Do I Avoid Getting Caught Up in Social Media?
Written by Christi Given | October 15, 2016
Every week I go through the “Girl Talk” section of Project Inspired and look for those seeking advice and counsel. I want to help answer some questions you may have about living out your Christian walk of faith and any other topics! We want PI to be a safe place where you can ask questions and become bold in your faith. We love you, PI readers!
A PI Girl recently wrote a post about Instagram on our Girl Talk forum. Do you frequently use Instagram or other social media?
Click here to read the post or to join the Girl Talk forum.
With Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and other media platforms, it can be difficult to not become addicted to social media. Sometimes it can be hard to get off of Instagram or not watch Snapchat as if you were watching a program on television. Where do we draw the line and use self-control?
It’s important to not compare yourself with other people on social media, especially those who have professional photos. Even someone like me, who has access to editing and high-quality tools, can feel like they’re not good enough. We need to remember our value and identity isn’t in our outward beauty, but rather in the Lord.
We wouldn’t put ourselves in the same class with or compare ourselves to those who are bold enough to make their own recommendations. Certainly, when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves to themselves, they show how foolish they are. (2 Corinthians 10:12)
Five Warnings About Social Media
1. Be careful of addiction and time-wasting: We can all get caught up online or on our tablets or phones. We all need to use wisdom on when to shut off the phone and when to be communicating face-to-face with our loved ones and not wasting our whole day scrolling or watching videos. Do you set a time limit? How do you manage logging out of your social media apps? I recommend giving yourself 10 to 20 minutes a day to scroll, and then log out right after, so you don’t end up wasting precious time, amen?
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. (1 Peter 3:3-4)
2. Be careful of comparison: This is not easy nowadays with all the different apps, Photoshop, high-tech cameras, and even just the competitive aspects of social media. On one hand, we all want to post high-quality images and/or videos, but we can get so wrapped up in not being good enough or posting the best images that we can feel defeated. Remember we are all unique and have different callings on our lives. Post the best representation of Jesus and of your lifestyle. Don’t compare yourself to others—just as Roosevelt said, it is “the thief of joy.”
3. Be careful what you choose to post: What you post says a lot about you, your interests and your character. Don’t post something just to be “cool,” but rather post what are really the subjects that inspire you and/or are representative of who you are. Let us shine our light so we can help others!
4. Be careful what you follow and/or click on: With media platforms like Instagram, there are so many images coming at us. What you click on can show up repeatedly on the possible interests section on your home page. We all need to be wise with who we follow and/or who we engage with, as with the increase in technology now, the media forums can access what we click on and it will duplicate to show up on our profiles. The media platforms now can figure out what we like, what we listen to, where we shop and what images we click on…weird. So when you click on the things you like, just be wise because it is being tracked. Let us all have wisdom on what we watch and what kind of different people we entertain. Put a guard on your heart and mind and cast anything away from you that is not godly or helpful.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
5. Be careful who you engage with on social media: Don’t just respond to anyone. Being online can be dangerous, so please don’t talk to strangers, don’t give out your phone number and, of course, NEVER give out your address. If you are under 18, you should always have your parents’ permission to even be using the phone or online apps or social media platforms. Be safe, girls. We pray for protection over you and for your wisdom.
Five Positives About the Blessings of Social Media
1. Social media is a tool: Social media can be used in spreading the Gospel. Don’t be like everyone else…that’s a dime a dozen. People need hope, the truth and love, and that is only found in Jesus Christ and in the Word of God. Social media can help advance God’s Kingdom, so don’t get caught up in worldly fleeting things.
2. You can share the Gospel: Media allows us to inspire, to share positive quotes, messages and scriptures. How do you reflect Christ on your social media pages?
3. We can connect with others: Connecting with people is a healthy and good thing; of course, face-to-face interaction is even better! Let’s use our words to build up, not to tear down, amen?
4. We can be informed about news: We can inform people about what is happening around the world. Oddly enough, social media is becoming a news platform now, even through Snapchat (CNN and other news outlets have segments on the apps). Many of you may be noticing the trending topics on Twitter or Facebook that are hot topics or news stories of the day. Knowledge surely is increasing, just as the Bible said it would!
5. We can learn: Social media teaches us about beauty, music, art, science. We can learn about those traveling, and can see different cultures through the World Wide Web and now access them through media platforms.
Let us use technology for what it is—a vehicle to inform us—but let us not get wrapped up in comparing our lives to others’ highlight reels, and let us educate ourselves and better society by sharing truth and knowledge…amen?
PI Girls, do you have tips on how you create boundaries for yourself with screen time and how you manage to be different to shine a light for Jesus? Comment below—we want to hear from you!