How many likes are there today? You roll over in bed, grab the phone, and look for the blue circle with a magic number. There’s only one. What a poor start to the morning. Not that many people care about you.
Isn’t that horrible? How many of us think that that way though? Every day is a constant checking of phones. Searching for that growing number of friends. Attempting to find satisfaction in a gathering following on Facebook. Reaching for more picture/video views on Instagram. And now the upgrade to SnapChat – the place you can have a constant stream of the instant things are happening to someone.
Does that satisfy you though? I was talking to a friend recently about the spiral of despair. You know? The moment when all your friend group is doing something together. You aren’t there. Thoughts start racing through your head. Why wasn’t I invited? That becomes “I’m not wanted”. Which becomes “I’m not loved”. Sometimes I wonder what life would be like without social media.
I wonder what it was like to be alive during Little House on the Prairie. Getting up early, eating breakfast with the family, and sitting down to dinner today. Going to barn gatherings, living life with the same small group of people, and not knowing what’s happening in Timbuktu. Has our quest for knowledge taken us to a place where we care less about people? I’m pretty sure Jesus wasn’t saying “Forsake not thy time on social media with others when He said:
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is… – Heb. 10:25
My love language is quality time (If you haven’t taken the Five Love Languages test, you can take it here). This means I LOVE to sit with someone, hear their story, and do life with them. One of my favorite places is Northern Wisconsin. I met a girl from a dairy farm up North while at a women’s life group. She invited me up to a gathering at her family’s farm. A mutual friend, my sister, and I hopped in a car and drove the 2 1/2 hours to go spend time with this woman’s family. That was the moment I got to have my own old – fashioned experience.
First, there was no cell phone service at the home. Second, everyone talked to each other and played games. One of her siblings took us on a tour of the whole area. We hiked to the top of the highest part of the farm and took in the view. There were constant volleyball games, groups of people sitting in circles talking, and hymn singing around a bonfire. That is true friendship. Life happens this way.
How many of the people on your social media do you actually know? Are they really your friends? Recently, I implemented some changes in my life. Because of them I feel a lot closer to God. This week – if possible for the rest of the year – I challenge you to pick at least one of these challenges to try.
- When you go to check your phone in the morning, open this Bible app instead and read a devotion. Grow closer to God instead.
- Do a friend purge. Go through your social media accounts. Delete people you don’t know on private social media accounts – especially things like SnapChat.
- The next time you feel left out from a gathering, be thankful your friends got to hang out. Instead of going down a spiral of despair, invite a friend to do something they like. Maybe it’s grabbing coffee or going for a run.
- The next time someone texts you or Snapchats you, offer to hang out in person. Don’t allow relationships to be a continual virtual chat. That’s not real friendship. Real friendship is engaging beyond face value and going deeper. Call that person or ask them if they’d like to hang out in person.
- Make your social media positive and engaging. Last year I wrote an article about being grateful and posting everyday on Facebook. Even when posting about the sad, glorify God in your life. For some people, your social media may be the only place they see God. Like pages like Tirzah, She Reads Truth, and other positive accounts so you can be encouraged in your walk with Christ.
Remember, dear sisters, you are LOVED. Loved by God and the people in your life. Do not let technology determine your worth. God says He is always with you and loves you. Make sure God and people are at the center of your life. Not the imaginary world of technology.
Finally, sisters, whatsoever things are true, hones, just, pure, love, of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. – Phil. 4:8 (paraphrased)