It had been a long and exhausting day for Sierra at work. Her co-workers, as usual had been mean to her, she still hated her job and her friends were ignoring her texts. Sierra slumped onto her couch and opened up her laptop. She spent about half an hour catching up on Facebook, about twenty minutes on Twitter then headed to Pinterest to get rid of her boredom. Then Sierra had an idea after skimming through the fashion category on Pinterest. She went to the mirror, touched up her make-up, flipped her hair two or three times and put on her sexiest tang-top. She whipped out her iPhone and began snapping selfies.
Sierra had created a secret Instagram account that her parents and friends didn’t know about. She changed her name and after uploading several racy photos of herself she gained quite a large amount of followers. At least here on her account she felt accepted and thought of as popular. Real life, however, was much different.
Sierra lived in an online world; real life was more of a bad fantasy to her than her Instagram and Facebook accounts. She hated her life and her popularity level was less than she would have liked it to be. Life at home was boring, her dad ignored her and her mom was always busy and talking or hanging out with her friends from church.
Can you relate to Sierra? Do you feel more accepted online when you only post about the fun things that happen in your life? Have you created an online image of yourself that isn’t really true?
Did you know that Instagram has 150 Million active users as of September 2013. Twitter has over 232 Million and Facebook has a whopping 1.23 Billion. Apparently keeping up a good online image is important to 1.73 Billion social network users across the globe (according to the eMarketer Report in 2013 and it is expected to rise by 18% this year).
I’m not saying Social Media is wrong and you should never engage on any social networks (although I would recommend limiting how many networks you join and your time spent on them daily). I’m pointing to the demand that is evident on an “online world”. You are expected to look better than your friends and colleagues by having a great life, posting pictures and videos of yourself and the weekend you had and showing off more than anyone else. If you don’t have a good standing online image, you obviously don’t have that great of a life. So says the standard of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
But this is not reality. Reality is that life hurts. Life is stressful and tough. Not everyone has a perfect life with the perfect house and car and friends. Social media is a deceptive tool used by the devil to make us feel insecure and inadequate; after years and years of abuse from this tool it can affect one’s mind, soul and heart.
Good news people: God is the opposite of your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram followers. He likes everything about you. He likes hearing about what you do every day of your life. Jesus is jealous for you and your time. He wants to hear from you. And He certainly doesn’t care if you have the latest trend, haircut, car or supermodel body.
I think we all try too hard to build up an image of ourselves that is completely the opposite of what we are like in real life because we are afraid to show our true selves in fear of being rejected, looked down upon or scorned by our friends who seem to have it all. And this mentality is thrust upon 13 and 14 year old kids! No wonder the suicide rate has gone up 30% in the last decade(according to New York Times Article By TARA PARKER-POPE Published: May 2, 2013).
It is my conclusion that we should spend less time worrying what we look like on Facebook and more time focusing on what is really important in life; our relationship with God, our family, and our communities. If we spent less time on Social Media this would help tremendously. Too much time spent on social media takes away from the here and now of every day life. We are missing out on what is happening all around us. Try to redeem your time and spend it well by helping others with something. Get involved in your church, start a business, study, read about current events and stay tuned into real life.
I hope this has somehow driven you to see that social media is a coy from the devil to keep your mind off of the things of God. There is nothing beneficial in spending limitless hours of your time staring at a screen.
Thank you for reading,
“What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” James 4:14
- Have you been caught in the web of competitive social posting?
- Do you know someone who is?
- What are your thoughts on Social Media?