How Is Social Media Disconnecting Us?
By: Megan Gover
Scroll. Double-tap. Scroll. Insert funny caption. Scroll. Edit photo. Scroll. Swipe through stories. Scroll. Take the perfect pic with the right aesthetic. Scroll. Compare. Scroll.
The movement of our fingers normally dictates the direction of our day. Our likes establish cheap acceptance while our posts give us short affirmation. Everyone's highlight reel allows comparisons to fester. Posting posed pictures puffs up our pride.
Along the way, we've allowed this swiping and scrolling to form our identity. We have allowed ourselves to become the sum of our social media presence.
Overall, Instagram and Snapchat aren't evil or sinful. But, the way we define ourselves by these platforms sure leads us into trouble. As a result of seeing ourselves and our lives through a screen, we have lost connection with reality, others, and most importantly, the Lord.
DISCONNECTION WITH REALITY
Snapchat filters retouch every blemish while Instagram highlights the things we want others to see. Twitter captures the height of our humor, while Pinterest dreams up our "perfect" lives. Our posts often picture what we want to paint, not what our life honestly portrays.
Curating social media gives us control of what others see in our lives, blinding us to the actual authority God has in ours. The beauty you see in each photo? Yeah, God knew you before He created the world! The car you're humble bragging about? Um, God made that happen. When we fail to see God's gift of the physical blessings in our lives, we tend to give ourselves credit. The ability to reframe every situation allows gratefulness for God's blessings to slip through the cracks.
What's funny is the life we portray through filtered lenses is our highlight reel. We know ours is. Yet, we still fall prey to believing others' highlight reels are the real deal. This paradox is where our jealousy and discontentment creep into our hearts. Instead of praising the Lord for the gifts He's given, we find ourselves yearning for a different life.
Proverbs 14:30 says: "A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot." This proverb makes our reality crystal clear: it is not possible to live a life of peace when discontentment distracts us from praising God for His gifts. So if a dash of discontentment strikes, don't let envy to sink deep into your bones. Realize comparing yourself is never worth forfeiting Christ's peace on the altar of jealousy.
DisCONNECTION WITH OTHERS
The internet is such a weird gift, isn't it? We can communicate with people halfway around the world in an instant. However, constant communication doesn't equate to quality connection.
For instance, Minted Truth gets to chat with girls from ALL. OVER. THE. WORLD. Just recently, we've emailed back and forth with girls from Japan, Australia, and throughout the United States. I will probably never meet these girls on this side of Heaven, but I was able to encourage them with biblical truth while sitting in my yoga pants. LIFE. IS. GREAT.
However, though our team was able to answer their questions, I would never want them to substitute these conversations for real-life friendships. Ever. Community doesn't form over gifs, but it does over the unstoppable giggles of a late-night slumber party. We need transparency over texting. We need real-life encouragement instead of edited versions of our lives.
The second we believe online relationships provide more connection than doing life side-by-side with others, we fail to live in true community like Jesus modeled.
The Lord hard-wired us to connect with people in person. We were given flesh so we can weep together, walk together, and work together. Social media places buffers in the way of authentic transparency, leaving us feeling unplugged and unloved.
DISCONNECTION WITH GOD
One of the most significant ways social media wedges between the Lord and us is the use of our time. It's more accessible to deep dive someone's Instagram account rather than diving into the depths of God's Word. But, the reward found in devoting yourself to spending time with Christ is irreplaceable. No amount of likes, comments, or compliments can do your heart right like spending time with Christ.
Also, if we aren't careful, we can substitute cheap imitations of spirituality for a thriving relationship with Christ. Instagram and Pinterest are places we find Christian bloggers, inspirational quotes, and Bible verses. And that's a great way to let the Holy Spirit remind you of truth throughout your day! But, if we allow other's time with the Lord to only teach us about God, we lack a quality connection to the Creator of this world.
Reading Christian inspirational quotes can only take us so far. However, the divine inspiration of God's Word is all we need to thrive in this world. If you know more about your favorite blogger than biblical truth, social media might be disconnecting you from your Savior!
Overall, creation was hard-wired for connection with the Creator, not constant content creation. If social media is choke-holding one or all of these areas we talked about today, then it might be time to step back for a while to refresh. Next week, we will be talking about how we can place boundaries on our social media and phones to worship through our connection instead of worshipping our phones. But, before we give tips on how to do this, take some time to think about how social media is disconnecting you from the life you portray from the life you’ve been given. Then, repent and ask God to help redeem this area of your life!