I love social media. I love how social media connects so many people from so many different backgrounds, and provides new means of communication and sharing. The world is practically at our finger tips. It has its blessings.
But it also has its curses.
As much as I love social media, this week I started feeling some of the curses of instant communication, sharing, and the "like" button.
You see, I am a recovering people pleaser. I want to win people's approval. I want people to be happy with me. I want people to agree with me. I want people to like me. I want people to build me up. I want people to love me.
And it's exhausting.
"He (Jesus) must become greater; I must become less."
As a recovering people pleaser, Facebook and Instagram can feed into my idol of approval. If I get a lot of likes on a status, I'm elated. If no one likes something, I'm so tempted to delete it. This means that my actions are being dictated by the approval of others.
"Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people I wouldn't be a servant of Christ."
I don't want to be a slave to people's approval. I want to serve and please God, not man. So I decided to lay my idol on the preverbal altar and I logged out.
I decided to go completely dark for a day. And you're probably sitting there thinking, "Big deal, Madi. It's one day." But one day for me is HUGE. It's a baby step in the right direction and that direction is not feeling like a slave to others approval. And let me tell you, it is hard to break a bad habit such as constantly checking those sites.
I'm not sure what logging out looks like from here because social media does have its blessings. It makes it easy to communicate with groups and a number of people. As a college student, it would be really hard to go cold turkey.
BUT I do plan on making it a habit not to check all of those mediums right when I wake up or right when I go to bed. I might even set up a time to check it for 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night. Maybe even turning my phone off for certain hours of the day. I'm not sure yet.
All I know is that it is so refreshing to just say "no" to it. To not check it. My brain doesn't feel as distracted, and it's been so much easier to focus on the things that do matter.
So here's to logging out for some moments of much needed light and not being distracted from the things that really matter.
I have a long way to go when it comes to Jesus killing the idol of a need for approval within me, but logging out and critically thinking through why I use social media is a start.
Do you struggle with feeling like you need approval? Or with exerting self-control over your time spent on social media sites? Do you ever take time to log out and go dark? What are your tips for taking a break from social media?
P.S. Credit goes to my friend Marisa for letting me take a picture of her phone with my phone.
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