The thought of “escaping social media” makes it sound like a prison of sorts, doesn’t it? Yet, if we’re completely honest, our online worlds can be confining. While the internet has allowed people all over the world to connect, it has also changed the dynamic of face-to-face connection.
There are a growing number of people who are starting to sense isolation. More and more, people are craving social interaction instead of reaction. Our God-given desires to connect with others in meaningful ways is finally beginning to outweigh our desire to get as many “likes” as we can.
Escaping social media is more about freeing ourselves from the time-wasting preoccupation of needing to be included in everything all of the time. It’s getting back to real living, authentic connection, and genuine interaction with other people.
Here are the reasons we should escape social media (and why we don’t):
To Free Ourselves from “One More Thing”
The daily amount of time we spend on social media increases year by year. However, the more time we spend on the internet, the more we are inadvertently neglecting something else in life. Social media has become “one more thing” on our already full plates. And our balancing act is becoming more imbalanced as time goes on.
We don’t escape social media because we’re not comfortable with “space.” Any extra time we have in our day is usually consumed by online activity. The Bible teaches us to number our days that we might gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12) This is my prayer for all of us who struggle with the demands of social media.
To Reduce Anxiety
If you’ve spent much time on social media at all, you’ve probably heard the term FOMO. It is defined in the urban dictionary as the fear of missing out. There has become an almost insatiable desire to be included in every event that is happening within our internet circles. And when we aren’t included, we become anxious, worried, and even compulsive.
We don’t always recognize the anxiety that social media causes, because, in some ways, we’ve begun to live vicariously through other people. Especially when we are discontent with our own lives, we become fixated on what everyone else is doing.
The apostle Paul shared in Philippians 4:11 that he learned how to be content in every situation. It is my prayer that we will learn to reduce anxiety and the fear of missing out by learning to be content in our own lives.
To Practice Self-Discipline
What are the first words that come to mind when we think of the fruits of the Holy Spirit? Most of us would recite love, joy, and peace, right? But the last fruit mentioned in Galatians 5:23 is self-discipline.
Exercising self-discipline online is so important. Without limits, we are setting ourselves up for even more isolation and disconnection. The main reason we struggle is that social media has become an outlet for us. Not unlike an addiction, our online interactions feed into our fleshly desires. And the more we feed our flesh, the less we display the fruits of the Spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things, there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV)
My prayer is that we will take seriously the Spirit’s call to practice self-discipline in every area of our lives, including social media.
To Be in the Moment
Distraction is one of the enemy’s top ways to get us to lose focus on what matters most. We’d rather spend fifteen minutes before work on Facebook than in the Word of God. We feel the constant pull of social media, even when we are spending time with loved ones. Many of us have alerts for every platform so we don’t miss a single post.
Escaping social media to “be in the moment” is important for so many reasons. It lets people know that they matter. It allows us to fully enjoy gathering together. And most of all, it opens up more time to spend in God’s Word.
I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word. Psalm 119:15-16
To Read More Books
Social media has trained our eyes to skim content rather than actually read something word-for-word. Because of the accessibility we have through social media, we are hesitant even to pick up a book and read. Articles, blog posts, and ebooks are easy to access, eliminating our desire to read for leisure.
Let’s get back to good, old-fashioned literature. Let’s turn off our screens and enjoy a book from beginning to end. Most of all, let’s open the Word of God and spend time reading the Scriptures.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV
…To be Continued
Adopted from Crosswalk.