The rise of anti-social media

Christians should learn to balance social media with their faith.

Caitlin Blackmon/THE CHIMES

Caitlin Blackmon/THE CHIMES

Samantha Russell, Writer

As college students, our mornings often fall into a particular routine: waking up, grabbing our phones and checking social media. We do not realize what we put in our minds will affect our actions for the rest of the day. Instead of going straight into God’s word, we reach for meaningless ‘social’ interactions. Oftentimes, its content does not encourage us, rather it brings a sense of insecurity. We seem to forget it is the highlights of everyone’s lives that are depicted: the part of themselves they have meticulously created. These tiny photos, having been tediously cropped and edited, remain free from most traces of reality. Going through the day, it remains easy to become caught up in capturing the moment rather than truly living and experiencing.

An alarming decline

According to a study done in 2015 by the Pew Research Center 89 percent of cell phone owners say they used their phone during the most recent social gathering they attended. The amount of human interaction we experience is at an alarming decline, and relationships in real life are not the same as they used to be.

Christians are placed with the difficult task of discerning faith in our everyday lives. Whether we like it or not social media is everywhere. Each day we experience a mass amount of content flooding our brains and affecting the way we perceive the world. It can cause us to lose sight of the worth God has instilled in us and leave us with a longing for approval. Social media has an abounding list we are blessed to enjoy in the 21st century. We connect with more people now than ever before. Ideas are conveyed at lightning speed, conversations spark, and friends and family who live thousands of miles away can experience everyday life practically alongside one another. Because of all of this it’s not very often we sit back and ask ourselves: in what ways is social media affecting my faith?

missing out on God

Balancing time is difficult as a college student, but the addition of social media makes this challenging. With all the time we waste online we miss out on God. When we have our heads down we miss his beautiful, unique creations and we become so wrapped up in someone else’s life, we forget to thank God for ours. As Christians, we should be mindful about where our time is best spent. One trap we can fall into is making social media an idol in our lives. When we use it often, we begin to let it define our identity. It can easily become a place where we validate ourselves rather than finding our value in God. When we find ourselves in this situation it can be difficult to pull ourselves out. We are easily caught in the cyclical pattern of putting social media first in our lives. Social media fasts are a great way of becoming more self aware of personal habits and knowing what limits to set with yourself. With these limitations you can still be active on social media while not taking away time from God.

With distractions in this modern day, solace time with God has the possibility to be even more sweet. To put down all the distractions and fully bask in his glory is such a blessing that we should embrace whole-heartedly. Social media, with all its advancements and benefits, has undoubtedly changed the way we spend our time. With this knowledge, we should be aware of how much time we spend online and make a conscious effort to be with God. The love and identity he gives us for free is worth far more than a ‘like.’

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