Social Media Isn’t Social
I was twelve when the first social media page to hit the web was Myspace, when I was fourteen, Facebook, and when I was fifteen, Instagram. Slowly each site began to get more and more traffic, and sharing our thoughts, opinions, and actions became the social norm. I was consumed with the amount of people that would agree with my opinion. I took hundreds of pictures with different angles, searched through dozens of filters, came up with the wittiest caption I could think of, and finally I posted the one I thought was the most brilliant; and I would watch to see the amount of likes, comments, or followers I got. I took dozens of selfies, I edited my profiles nonstop, I stalked other pages for “inspiration,” when really I was just getting insecure. Social media slowly became a feasting ground for validation. I was always on my phone, even when I was out with friends or family. I was with them, but I was never really with them. I searched and searched for a hole in my heart to be filled by the validation of my peers. Somehow “social” media quit being social, and became about ME, and the more I made it about me, the more alone I felt.
I was seventeen when I made the decision to give up social media for three weeks during our Church’s corporate 21 Days of Prayer & Fasting. I prayed during those three weeks that God would help me break my addiction to social media.
I find it amazing how God can heal your heart in such a short span of time; how He can turn something that was once a crutch, into something that is now refreshing to let go of. It took me an entire year, and a second go round of fasting to get this revelation; social media isn’t social. Too many times I see families at the dinner table consumed in their online lives, connected to their “friends,” but disconnected from their family. It made me wonder how often I was looking down at my phone screen, rather than looking into the eyes of the people I loved.
Giving up social media, actually made me more social! Anytime I got the chance to meet up with my friends, I was much more eager to ask about them, to get to know everything that’s been going on in their lives. These conversations turned out to be the ones where a connection was formed not between our phones, but between our hearts. We shared laughs, and pains, and by the end of it my cheeks would hurt from smiling so much, a pain that pleasured me. These were conversations that could never happen over social media, because social media will always just be a place to scratch the surface, but never a place to dig deeper.
This is also true when it comes to our relationship with God. There was a time in my life when I would always complain, “I pray but God never answers me! Where is He? Why isn’t He doing anything?” If I could go back in time and smack some sense into myself, I would. How was I supposed to connect with God when I was always connected to the world? How was I supposed to see God in my life, if my eyes weren’t focused on Him? The voice of social media (the world) drowned out the voice of God. The DAY I disconnected from the world, was the day I heard God’s voice. Instead of being “social” online, I became social with Him, and everyday I can hear Him whisper to me, I feel Him guiding me, I never stop feeling his warm love surround me. I no longer feel a hole in my heart, I feel more connected than ever not only to my family and friends, but to my Father in Heaven.
Social media, isn’t social… it’s just media. ~ Arrianna
“…because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” ~ 1 John 4:4
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Your Turn: Is it time to unplug from social media and listen for the voice of your Father? What if you gave it a try…just for a few days and instead, spent that time connecting with Him….seeking Him. We challenge you to try it and see. We would love to hear how it works for you. ~ Breath on Paper