Am I the only one out there beginning to question my own addictions to social media? I mean it's a great tool that can used for so much good. However, when I examine stats about the effect of social media on one's mind, on their self-esteem, I often wonder, how my own mind has been warped by it.
I think I really began to look at the effects of social media on how we live when I was in the process of planning my wedding. How much of what I thought was necessary for a wedding came from Pinterest and Instagram? Many of us now think that extravagant baby showers, complete with balloon arches, a fancy cake and of course the professionally done maternity photoshoot are a NECESSITY. Why? Because social media told us it is. When I was younger, you just got a couple of your closest friends and family and had a small affair at your house. That was it. Maternity shoots were simply whatever pictures were captured via Polaroid or Kodak camera.
Don't get me wrong, there's nothing bad about having a lavish wedding, shower, or photoshoot (if you can afford it). I love the creative challenge of coming up with a personalized and unique way to decorate an event and I love photos, film, and creativity overall. I enjoy looking at beautiful events and photoshoots on social media. But, why do we feel as a society that without the luxury and dare I say, extra-ness, that somehow something is incomplete, or that we don't match up. I think the motivation of WHY we want these things is telling. Most of it has to do with COMPARISON. In watching how comparison is ruining many of our emotional, financial and even physical lives, I think it's important to look at these things.
Paul writes to the Galatians, "Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ."- Galatians 1:10
As I've been looking at myself and observing and listening to others, I think we all should look at the why's in our lives. Why did we pick the majors or careers that we did? Is it because we felt God's calling or pulling in that direction? Was it to help our fellow brothers and sisters? Or is because it looks really good on paper to others? Did we want to gain a certain amount of fame or vainty that comes with a specific degree, title, or career? Why do we spend money the way that we do? Is it because we have to keep up with trends or impress others? Why do we post the pictures that we do? Is it because we love the exhilaration of our phones going insane with likes? Do we feel sad when don't get as many likes or followers as our peers?
These are just questions. But, I think these questions can reveal some optical illusions that we have harbored in our lives. That somehow someone's life is better than mine because of the highlight reel on IG or FB. The world tells us we have a need to build vain platforms and followers for ourselves instead of thinking of the kingdom that we should be building or the followers we should be obtaining for Christ. As much as I love social media (I lowkey already told ya'll that I'm addicted), I'm also thinking of how much a preoccupation with it has kept me from the things I'm called to do. I can't express how many times I have shamefully neglected devotional time or writing, for some extra time of scrolling. I can't express how many times being on IG has made me wonder why I'm not more successful (whatever that ACTUALLY means), while negating the fact that I'm spending so much time on social media that I'm neglectful in putting in the extra work that I could be. The more I talk to others, especially in my age range and younger, we have overwhelmingly expressed that we are all guilty of this.
It's time to see clearly. It's time to limit our consumption. To live as a servants of Christ and not as a men pleasers.