Something has been bothering me lately, for the past few months actually, and I just haven’t been able to shake it. I have found social media to be a negative thing in my life, and I have been digging to get to the root of the issue. I’ve been trying to figure out why I post the things I post, and what makes me say the things I say on the internet. I want to understand my motives. Is it because I am narcissistic and assume people actually care about what I’m doing? Is it because I think my life is great and I want to rub it in other people’s faces? Is it because I want to pretend that I have it all together and make people think I have a perfect life? What are my intentions? Are they healthy??
Another thing I am struggling with, in addition to the constant questioning of my intentions, is the way that social media so easily pulls you into the “comparison trap.” By that I mean, I see that Jack and Jill are vacationing in Europe, while I’m sitting in class, I see Katherine has an 8 pack, and I have gained 15 pounds since I got married. I see John and Sally just bought an amazing house while Jared and I are just waiting it out before doing so, waiting for God’s direction (and trying so very hard to be patient). I think of Psalm 90:12 which says, “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” I wonder why I am on Facebook, which is not helping me grow in any way, when I could be spending my time with Jesus and getting to know Him and discovering His will for my life. I wonder how I am becoming a better wife by checking my news feed, or a better servant, or a better friend.
And one of the BIGGEST things for me, is social media on our phones. When I find myself checking my feed or scrolling through Instagram at a red light, or even while I am DRIVING, there is a serious problem. And I don’t know why I am checking it….I don’t actually care about what I am reading, or what I am viewing. It’s simply habitual. I want prayer to be that habitual in my daily life. When I find myself bored and turn to my phone, I want my first reaction to be to open up my bible ap or a devotional. I look at the people around me and I think it’s so gross that they are glued to their phones, checking their news feeds while engaged in conversation, or walking through the mall with their heads down looking at their phones. More often than not, I am one of those people! WHO AM I!? (This is so dramatic…I have just been frustrated… )
About 3 months ago, I got a new phone. It’s a Windows phone, and doesn’t yet have Instagram. Therefore, I have been Instagram-less for 3 months. It has been so free-ing. I took Facebook off of my phone as well, and it is NUTS how little I use my phone. I don’t care if it’s dead or if it’s even on me. I use it to text and call and google things, and that is it. I feel a lot less stressed and I feel fully present where ever I am.
In a few weeks, I am going back to the iPhone though, because I hate, I repeat, HATE, my Windows phone. It has been trouble since day one! With that in mind, I will have the opportunity to partake in Instagram fun again. I was talking with my husband about it this afternoon, and I am just confused. I ENJOY taking photos and editing them. It is just fun. I love taking pictures of food and fun events, and my favorite part is going back, weeks later, and reminiscing on those fun times. Is that wrong? I have been analyzing my intentions, and I don’t think I post things with a narcissistic heart. I don’t think I am seeking attention. I think it is simply a hobby, and something that I enjoy doing, and it almost forces me to take photos, which I am so thankful for later. With that being said, I think I will get back on Instagram very soon. And I will stay on Facebook. I’ve decided to leave Facebook off of my phone, and I will not let Instagram be a distraction. I think it was healthy to take a break from these things for a bit and take a step back and think.
I think the biggest thing is self-control and time management. Facebook is a GREAT tool for many things; Our photography company, college classes, family, encouragement. It is up to US to decide to let it become a negative thing, and I think we have to decide how much time spent on Facebook is TOO much time, and how many times a day we check Instagram is too many times??
I want to be the best ME I can be, and the best wife I can be, and the best daughter I can be, and the best sister I can be, and above all, I long to seek God above all else. If I find that these things are a distraction, then I will get rid of them altogether. If I find that I am struggling to find time to spend with Jesus in the mornings, yet checking Facebook first thing, then I will reassess the situation again. 1 Corinthians 10:14 says, “ Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.” I was concerned that social media had become an idol in my life and was fearful. I think through all of this I have become much more aware, gathered by thoughts, and learned a lot about myself. I love PEOPLE. I love being social. I LOVE taking pictures! And it’s just fun! And I am going to use these brilliant tools (Facebook, Instagram) in a way that they bring nothing but joy to myself and others and honor to God!
That was super serious and all over the place. I have been talking to a lot of people about this lately so I thought I would just put my feelings out there and see if anyone else could relate. On a super random, off topic note, Jared and I are about to post a wedding on our blog so be sure to check it out! http://www.theduplooys.net !
If you actually read this, you’re a star! That’s awesome! I hope you can take something from it and grow from it! I will be blogging again early next week! Have a fabulous weekend, everyone!