When I think about combatting social media in today’s culture, I wonder how Jesus would’ve handled it. Would he have been someone with a blue check? Or would he have been the person that didn’t have a huge following on social but was still making a huge impact in his community?
Yet when I think of the Jesus of the Bible, He always seemed like someone who didn’t stick to the status quo. He was nontraditional and went against the grain. But then again, this is the same Jesus who had large crowds following him and gave live sermons on mountains in front of thousands of people.
Jesus was clearly well known and popular. So, if I had to guess what he would have been like on social today, I’m assuming he would probably be like the popular celebrity pastors these days like Mike Todd and Steven Furtick. Honestly, who knows?
But a couple of weeks ago, I was having a conversation with my fiancé about the effects of social media. As someone that uses social media and content marketing as a strategic way to promote my business, I was feeling a little discouraged about the results I was seeing. You know the thoughts we all seem to have from time to time.
I want more followers.
I want more likes.
I want my feed to look perfect.
I need more creativity.
I’ve always said that I have a love-hate relationship with social media. For example, one day everything is fine. I’m excited to be making friends online and getting to know people that I would never meet had it not been for social media.
And then other days, I’m completely frustrated and overwhelmed. Having to create consistent content, show up looking half-decent for stories, constantly engage with people, make sure my feed matches and has an overall aesthetic, all while making sure that I’m not contributing to the false realities that social media creates.
Like I said, it’s a love-hate relationship.
The statistics are jarring though. A study back in 2019 of more than 12,000 13-16-year-olds in England found using social media more than three times a day predicted poor mental health and well-being in teens. There’s also a popular documentary on Netflix titled, The Social Dilemma. This documentary provides more insight on the negative effects of social media.
It’s interesting because social media really is a consumer-based concept. We’re constantly consuming content whether it’s motivational messages, lifestyle photos, new recipes, etc. We can all agree that it’s a lot, but I was listening to a recent podcast called Fight Hustle End Hurry Podcast by Jeff Bethke and John Mark Comer. They provide great insight about technology and its influence on our society.
They were sharing how social media is designed for its participants to consume. This is the exact opposite of how God created humans. Because God is a creator and we were made in His image, this means that as God’s children, we were designed to be creators too.
The whole point they were trying to make is it’s hard to create if you’re constantly consuming, which is what we do on social media. But you know I’m all about the practical, so I wanted to provide some helpful tips on how to combat social media in today’s culture.
1. Take a Break
There is nothing wrong with taking breaks from social media and its something I would highly encourage. Truthfully, social media had a grip on me. Because I use it for work, I feel like I can’t delete the app off my phone because I would have to constantly redownload it to check for comments and messages.
I’m still finding the balance, but if you’re someone that doesn’t have to use social media for work, deleting the app off your phone is a practice that my fiancé implements and he has found it super helpful. Another practice a friend of mine does is taking a break from social media once a week for 24 hours. I love this idea! Another suggestion is taking a break for an extended period of time.
No matter what you decide, be intentional about stepping away to allow yourself space to breathe, think, create, and “be.” Avoid putting yourself in an environment where it is tempting you to compare yourself (knowingly or unknowingly) with others.
2. Take Inventory
There’s a quote that says, “You cannot heal what you do not reveal.” Sometimes, we have to take inventory of how much time we’re actually spending on social media. Mainly because sometimes we don’t think we’re spending as much time on social media as we really are.
The screen time setting on our phones not only tells us how much time we’re spending on our phones, but it also provides a lot of options to help prevent the use of our phones to include social media.
I encourage you to look at your screen time usage weekly so you’re aware of how often you’re using your phone and spending time on social media. Having this knowledge can help you decide whether you to need to implement some changes.
3. Start and End Your Day with the Word/Prayer
A bad habit that I admittedly have is using Instagram as a way to wake up in the morning. Basically, my alarm goes off and I immediately open the Instagram app or my email. Then I’ll scroll through my feed and check my messages as a way of waking up.
And then the same thing happens at night before I go to bed. I scroll on social media. If you’re like me, you’ll be scrolling and the next thing you know, an hour has passed. Then it’s past your bedtime, and you’re already starting the next day on the wrong foot.
A practice to combat this is starting and ending your day either in the Word or in prayer. This is a great practice because it allows you to take your mind off of the world and focus your attention on God, who is the true sustainer of life.
4. Fix Your Eyes on Jesus
When it comes to social media, we must be careful of how much social media is influencing our definitions of success. Without realizing it, we subconsciously allow culture to define what success looks like. This could be recognition, money, fame, etc., which are not biblical.
At the end of the day, God defines what success is. Our identity should be rooted in who He says we are, not what society thinks we should be. It’s so easy to get caught up in the likes, followers, and feeds. However, we have to be careful we are not being influenced when God has called us to be the influencers of our culture.
But what are your thoughts on social media? Do you like it, find it helpful? Or is it exhausting? Would love to know your thoughts or takeaways from today’s post in the comments.