To facebook or not to facebook?

DIGITAL WORLDTen years ago in order to know what was going on in a loved one’s life you would get together for dinner with them or call them on the phone…now you can just log onto facebook, instagram, or twitter.

Ten years ago you could enjoy the food you were eating, the scenery you were looking at, or the people you were with without snapping pictures of any of it every ten minutes… now you can’t possibly do something without capturing it on camera and making sure to share it with the rest of the world.

Ten years ago when you got together with your family or friends it was to socialize and to have fun… now when you get together with people it’s to enjoy each others company as each one of you stares at your phone and catches up on what everyone else is doing.

Ten years ago a phone was something you used to call and text people and save important dates on… now it’s something you can’t live an hour without.

Am I exaggerating?

Maybe a little.

But the more “technologized” our world becomes, the easier it becomes to forget what matters.

What was once used for communication has far exceeded it’s original design and has become not merely a habit, but an addiction for many.

An addiction with too many negative side effects to count.

From arousing envy from comparing what is happening in others lives to your own.

From inspiring procrastination and wasting time as you scroll through your different news feeds for hours catching up with what others have posted.

From allowing yourself to use it as a tool for self-promotion and validation as you always share only the best of what is happening in your own life.

It has come to the point that many people have blamed social media for their insecurity issues, for their procrastination problems, and for their depression.

And it is true… social media can lead to all of this, but it’s not social media that is the problem, and I think it’s time that we stop pointing the finger at our computer and our phone, and start pointing it where it belongs: at ourselves.

I love what Allison Vesterfelt says in her post “Could quitting facebook be a mistake?” –

“Social Media didn’t invent jealousy or time-wasting or procrastination or coveting other people’s stuff … The problem isn’t Facebook. The problem is us.”

I remember when TV first came out and started to become popular.

Living back in a little village in Ukraine a TV was never allowed in a Christian household because as many people liked to say “TV is the devil”.

It’s a waste of time.

It’s only used for worldly purposes.

And yes, it’s very true, but TV itself isn’t bad.

In fact many people around the world have discovered ways to use media as a way to spread the gospel to others and bring hope and blessing to the lives of the people who watch it.

The TV itself was never bad to begin with.

But if you use it to watch 30 hours of Netflix every week is it a waste of time? Yes.

If you use it to watch movies that are inappropriate is it bad? Yes.

But you can use it to watch sermons.

You can use it to watch movies with Biblical truths behind it.

The TV is not the devil.

But it can become a sin and an addiction depending on how you use it.

Same goes for social media.

Is connecting with people online bad? Of course not.

But it becomes bad if instead of connecting with people you turn it into a tool of comparing yourself with people.

Is sharing special moments that take place in your life or your thoughts bad? Of course not.

But it becomes bad if the only reason you share those moments or thoughts to seek approval or validation from others.

Is scrolling through your newsfeed a few minutes a day to check up on what everyone in your world is doing bad? Of course not.

But it becomes bad when you’ve been scrolling for over an hour and in the process you have missed precious moments with those you love or with doing something more productive.

Social media is only a problem in our lives if we allow it to become one.

Let’s allow it be what it’s originally designed for: a tool to connect with others, not a tool for self-validation, envy, or procrastination.

Not a tool that gets in the way of who we are and our relationship with God.

I have been challenged and convicted by what John Piper has to say about it: “One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time.”

Wouldn’t it be sad if when we reflect back on our lives all we will see is how much of it we missed because we were too busy trying to capture “ the moment”?

Of how many conversations we didn’t participate in because we were too busy scrolling through the newsfeeds on our phones?

Of how many hours on our knees we missed because we were too busy paying attention to what was going on in the screen in front of us than on the God that was waiting for us?

Social media doesn’t have to be your enemy, but it is if it becomes your idol, something you can’t spend a day without.

If your phone or your computer is taking up too much of your time maybe it’s time to re-think what you are using it for.

Here are some questions my pastor posted on his blog about our use of social media and a quiz you can take here that can help you really understand… is social media just a tool for connecting that you use, or has it become your life?

And maybe the answers you receive will help you realize whether or not social media is for you.

You don’t have to quit it, but if you are addicted then you can learn to limit it.

You don’t have to stop sharing, but you can test your motives before you do so.

You don’t have to stop connecting, but you can learn to stop comparing when you have a reason to.

Like anything new that comes out in this world there is only one way to use social media: carefully and with much wisdom.

Allow God to show you how you can use it best for His glory.

Be blessed and enjoy your weekend!Anna… 

social media, social media addiction,Related Posts:

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24 thoughts on “To facebook or not to facebook?

  1. I love this, Anna. You have managed to lovingly put the responsibility for our social media use squarely where it belongs–on us. You strike a nice balance here that is reasonable and well-articulated. Nice and much needed post!

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    • Thanks Rebeca. It’s definitely easy to blame social media for our own lack of self-control when it comes to how we use it, it’s important to always keep everything in perspective! Hope you have a lovely Monday!

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  2. This is so true. I was so addicted last year to Facebook. I was using it for good, I was an admin of multiple groups for Christian women. I was able to encourage, pray for, and chat with thousands of women. I enjoyed spreading the gospel and I even got to meet people from all around the world. But there came a point where I felt like it was taking up too much time; even time away from God.
    Now I make sure before I even log on I have my morning prayer, breakfast, and workout. Before, I would just get up and go on Facebook and pray randomly in between. I have learned that yes, social media is a blessing but we must have a balance.
    Sorry I wrote so much lol, but I agree with this post.

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    • “Social media is a blessing but we must have a balance.” Amen!! I couldn’t agree more! It can affect us negatively even when we use it for a good purpose. Thankfully what has helped me is bufferapp so I can schedule some of my posts for my blog on social media ahead of time. It really is easy to get caught up in social media world to a point that it gets in the way of the real world but with God’s help we can certainly learn self-control and figure out a good way to balance both. 🙂 Have a blessed day Deborah!

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      • I never heard of bufferapp, I will check it out. For my Facebook page I use an app called Page Manager and it let’s me schedule posts. I can’t be in front of a laptop or tablet all day, and I will forget to post if I didn’t use that app lol.
        Thanks 🙂

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  3. I think you hit the nail on the head. I have been guilty in the past of using social media for validation. I didn’t go looking for it in the right places. And social media is an easy outlet for validating oneself. But, as I grew more and more into a more mature outlook, I began to realize the error in that. It takes a conscious effort to break the habit, but it is possible!

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    • It definitely takes a conscious effort to break any habit, especially when it becomes an addiction. Sometimes it takes stepping back and doing some authentic self-evaluation to help us realize how much time we spend on social media and how it affects us. I’m glad you were able to stop using it for validation and started looking at it for what it really is (a way to stay connected with others). Be blessed!

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  4. You bring out some good points here, Anna! I have been tempted to delete my FB account when I noticed some things like envy and jealousy rising up in me, but I realized it wasn’t because of FB which is why I never did delete it. I had to go back to the reason why I had it in the first place which is to keep up with family and friends that don’t live close by. I have to keep reminding myself that my validation does not come from the approval of men but from God’s approval. I can also find myself wasting time on just about anything that isn’t FB. Great post!! Blessings!! 🙂

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    • Facebook is never the “real” problem, although it sure has a great way of reminding us of our insecurities, desires, and priorities doesn’t it? I’m glad that God’s been helping you use the time you spend on there wisely and for the right purposes. It sure is easy to get sidetracked on social media but if we are smart with all of our technologies they don’t have to get the best of us. 🙂 Blessings to you!

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  5. Thank you for sharing this! I don’t have Facebook (largely for fear that it would take over my life), but I spend too much time on the internet regardless. I’ve been working on practicing moderation. 🙂 God bless!

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    • Moderation is key! Good job on not getting into facebook. You are definitely saving yourself a lot of time, but you are also right that if it’s not facebook it can be something else (wasting time doing other things online or on our phones). It’s good that we all have balance in everything that we do in this life because many of the things that we do aren’t so “bad” unless we do it too much or for too long. Good luck in limiting your internet time. May you find other, more productive and enjoyable things you can do instead. Be blessed!

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  6. No you are not exaggerating. It reminds me of Albert Einstein’s quote ‘I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots’ and I think it is not because of Facebook but because of the habit of over usage and addiction. Excess of anything is bad and there has to be a limit; a fine line between usage and abuse. I hope people will understand this….someday 🙂

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    • I hope we will all understand that today! It’s definitely a waste of time, energy, and life when it becomes an addiction (and it’s so easy to allow it to be). Sometimes I wish everyone’s internet stopped working for a day or two and then we’d all really realize how important technology is or isn’t to us.

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  7. Great article. Such a great reminder to get back to what really is important and shine a light in an area I thought was just fine! Thank you!

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    • Thanks Karen! It’s always good to step back and think about how much social media is really affecting our lives and whether or not it’s in a good or bad way. I’m glad this was a good reminder for you! Be blessed!

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  8. Thanks Anne. I never was on facebook before, then my husband gave me a new phone with facebook on it. I was wondering for months, must I go for it or not? Good to see the negative and possitive sides of it all. Thanks.

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    • You’re welcome. I think facebook (and any type of social media) has its benefits and shortcomings. It’s up to each one of us to decide whether it is worth it or not and if it’s something we can use wisely in our lives.

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