Do you do things solely for how they will look online later?
Do you get really happy or depressed depending on how many likes/retweets your posts get?
What is the growing popularity of social media doing to us?
It’s crazy to think about how people grew up just a few years ago. Before the Internet, the only way anyone really saw pictures of each other was in wallets and frames. Only school photos and perhaps the occasional vacation/special event snapshot ever made it to the printer.
Now, with Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, blogs, etc., people are expected to post a new photo at least once a day! How do people find inspiration for these posts? They think: “What am I wearing?” “What am I doing?” “What am I eating?” “What do I find motivational today?”
Social media has made us become obsessed with ourselves and branding our lives. At no other time in history were ordinary people required to have the everyday details of their lives validated by likes, hearts, retweets, reposts and pins.
If you had a cup of coffee today, but didn’t post it online, did it really happen?
Full disclosure: I love social media and pretty much everything Internet. I have a large following on several platforms and have made a career out of digital journalism. So this isn’t a judgey post…ironically, it’s written to myself and everyone like me who needs a wake up call that “Hello. It. Is. Not. About. You.”
Where does Christ fit into this picture? How do your growing social accounts please Him if they’re not pointing people to Him? How much of your time is spent thinking about, planning, taking, posting, captioning and tracking the results of pictures versus thinking about God?
So maybe this article is helping you realize you have priority issues—or maybe you already know that, but don’t know what do to about it. Here are a few suggestions to help you think less about yourself. (And yes, I am going to take my own advice on this one.)
1. Take a step back and examine your social media accounts. Are they a reflection of you as a Christian? Are they inspirational, uplifting and pure?
2. Really consider your schedule and how much time you are investing in social media. Does your time online outweigh your time spent with God? When your friends and family are talking, are you fighting the urge to check your phone? Is it excessive and bordering on addiction?
3. Ask God to reveal to you how He feels about the way you think and post online.
4. Do some cleansing. Are there pictures/posts you need to delete? Do it. Could your soul and mind use a much-needed break from being attached to a screen? Take it.
5. Use your social platforms as a ministry tool. If Jesus had an Instagram account, what would He post? Which links that you share on Facebook bring people closer to Christ? Use Philippians 4:8 as a guide: “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
What about YOU? Do you think social media has made you more narcissistic? Does your online persona reflect you as a Christian?