IDOLIZING SOCIAL MEDIA
I guess it’s a good time to call out the irony of me using social media to get my message out there, like posting this article on facebook and twitter. But I am using it to share my story and my struggles, not to base entire relationships, and my life, off of. Before I wrote this article, I effectively removed my personal presence from most social media outlets. Mainly the ones that required so much involvement, that they got in the way of actual meaningful relationships. My decision to remove myself caused family members and friends to become disgruntled and make it about them. It was somehow a slight to their personal integrity if I didn’t keep them on my Facebook friends list. Meanwhile, I removed my entire accounts functionality. It speaks to a more serious problem of self involvement. Its me me me.
The scariest realization is that the people I once considered friends and family no longer keep in touch. Our relationships were only validated by social media and not genuine personal interactions. It speaks to a much serious issue, not only personally, but spiritually as well. Basing entire relationships on feigned attempts of sincerity is putting a huge wall between you and the people you are insinuating you want in your life. This is the epitome of ‘phoning it in’.
We seem to spend more time and effort on ways to avoid real life instead of hitting it head on. Social media allows for the avoidance and denial of real world problems. We are, for all intents and purposes, idolizing social media and putting it first. We all know the Bible is very clear about idolatry. Although this is electronic and not a false God, it is looking to social media for guidance in your life instead of going to Him.
“You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
This also brings up the other point. If we are so easily able to avoid real life, or ‘phone in’ interest, on social media, what are we doing with our relationship with God? Are we just ‘phoning in’ our requests, prayers, praise, and everything else, in 140 characters or less? Are we just posting a virtual picture of our faith and devotion instead of going to God and showing him personally? Are we checking in with God just to say that we had simply been there and done that?
We are meant to be with each other. To interact face to face. To let all of us be intertwined in relationships with others in a more intimate and direct way.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Going forward, think of how your relationships can be more meaningful and not superficial and through a computer screen. Instead of checking on someone through social media, check in with them directly. Keep that personal bond going. Instead of saying you are too busy to talk or meet up, put together all the time you would spend on social media interacting and use that towards the time you actually do have to spend with someone. Instead of saying you can’t keep in contact with people outside of social media, ask yourself what you did before this new era. Call, visit, write a letter. Believe it or not, we did manage to keep up meaningful relationships before the social media succubus came onto the scene.
When it comes to your relationship with God, think of ways you can have a more meaningful and spiritually filled relationship. Instead of simply hastagging your Christianity with #blessed, sit down and have a moment with God and thank Him directly for what He has blessed you with. Instead of placing your requests to God in 140 character format, go somewhere quiet and meditate on what you need and bring it to God himself. Pray, meditate, devote.