I really struggle with a balance of how much to use social media to post things about myself and my life. When I do fun things, I like to share it so that my family and best friends can keep up with what I’m doing because I really enjoy keeping up on those people as well. Without me ‘spying’ into their lives, I feel like I don’t know what’s going on with them and so I feel detached. Probably many of us feel the same as our lives seem to be overtaken by work and activities and we just don’t have the time anymore to personally keep up on our relationships like people did in the past, so social media can help with that.
On the other hand, it seems like many have taken the whole social media to the extreme and post just about everything in their lives they are doing and how they are feeling (especially people and their coffee fetishes. lol.) Whether you turn left or turn right, you will see people taking selfies in all directions so they can share their experiences immediately. Just today as I went in town to run errands, I noticed a guy taking a selfie of himself by the river in town, and down the road, two young girls taking selfies in a coffee shop.
Statistically, they are seeing increased rates of depression and suicide in those connected to social media because, obviously, who posts the bad stuff? We all like to post the fun side of our lives, and will hardly every post a selfie of ourselves just out of bed with our hair a mess and no makeup. The depression comes on when a person sees all the fun that someone is doing and they feel like their life is a downer in comparison. It can be a detrimental downward spiral.
When I see so many selfies and posts, and hear of the negative effects on many lives, my mind is guided to something God said in His Word in the book of 2 Timothy. The Apostle Paul was talking about how people will become in the last days and one of the key phrases that sticks out to me is, “For people will be lovers of self…” We don’t want to admit it, but it is actually true. When we are so focused on sharing our lives with the world, we have become what the Bible calls the end-time apostasy (or the turning away from the Faith or God.) It’s heart wrenching to think that we have been naively drawn in to becoming completely self-absorbed and with our self-absorption, follows a whole list of traits that God opposes. Can you find yourself in some of these verses? I know I can see myself in some of these and when I look at the entire country as a whole, we definitely have come to fulfill these verses…
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. 9 But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.” 2 Timothy 3:1-9
So, how can we avoid being fully engulfed in not only social media, but all of the traits that will come from self-absorption? If we continue reading, in 2 Timothy, Paul has some great suggestions of how to do just that. In summary, it is to continue to follow the teachings in the Scripture. And, spend more time reviewing Scripture each day then following & posting. I think this will help us all greatly!
10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. 12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3
Father God, Forgive us for being so self-absorbed in our own lives that we often forget to focus on You and focus on helping others. Help us to limit our social media time as well as use it for good and to glorify You. Remind us daily about our need to focus instead on You and your desires. In Jesus Name. Amen.