“Such a good day”
“Think ima take a bath”
“I chose sleep over food… Now I’m gonna be hungry at work all day”
“Headacheeee”These were the first five tweets when I checked my Twitter feed for this article. I used these as an example to show how silly most of this mess is; I just got lucky that the first five were so outrageously ridiculous. All five of these are people are on my Twitter feed all the time. I’ve not spoken to one of them since graduation and even before that, I probably said less than five words to them. One is a friend who moved away two years ago that I’ve texted maybe twice since then. Another two are girls that drove me crazy in class but they were occasionally funny. Another is the younger sister of a friend. And the last one is a girl I played basketball against in sixth grade and I’m not sure that I’ve spoken to her again since then. This is the epitome of social media followers/friends.
Social media, oh social media, how I loathe you and love you. Where do I even begin? I got a Facebook when I was about a seventh grader. I used it to stay in touch with all my faraway friends from church activities I had been to over the years. I used it to share fun pictures for my faraway family to keep up with my life.
Statistics show that on average people check their phones at least 34 times a day. Now don’t get me wrong, social media is wonderful. It helps me keep in touch with family and faraway friends and receive a notification when there’s an update or when a friend has a birthday. What I found, though, was that I had a case of “social media obsessive exaggerate disorder.” Listen to the symptoms to see if you might have a case of it as well:
I was constantly looking for opportunities to make my life seem cooler to all these followers that I didn’t even really talk to! I was constantly looking for a little kid at a family get together to take a sweet picture with me and everyone would oooo and ahhh and hopefully like my Instagram pic of a kid they didn’t even know. I was always trying to get a cute pic of friends and I laughing as we had dinner together so that everyone on Twitter would know how cool and fun I really was. I was constantly keeping track of funny moments in my head so that I could share them on a Facebook status later so that people would know how hilarious my friends and family were. Have you been guilty of any of the above? Come on, be honest.
Every time we stop doing something productive such as working, spending time with family, a dinner spent catching up with friends, Bible study, or meals and break to check a silly social media site we take away from these special moments. The question always come up is this idolatry? People don’t want to admit that this is a form of idolatry but I think in a sense it is and the Bible is very plain about this. 2 Kings 17:12 says, “And they served idols, of which the Lord had said to them, ‘You shall not do this.’”
I think more than that; it’s idleness. The Bible isn’t vague about the topic of idleness either. The virtuous woman is never described as being idle, actually, quite the contrary, Proverbs 31:27 says, “she looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” The virtuous woman doesn’t let social networking get in the way of taking care of the things she knows she needs to take care of.
Please know that social networking isn’t all bad. As previously mentioned, I stay in touch with lovely faraway friends and family and also keep up with this website. But it is bad when we become obsessed with it. And let the record show that I am the worst about that. I have a faraway boyfriend and am constantly texting him since we rarely see each other. Because I have an iPhone it’s all too easy to reply to a text and then quickly check my e-mail and Facebook. I’m still struggling with it but I’m getting better at it. Try to be conscious this month of how often you open a social media app and become idle and let that fuel a change in your habits.
A couple of months ago I was at our good family friend’s home swimming. All the kids were swimming, the sun was bright, freckles were beginning to show on little faces, and Gatorade and Nutella sandwiches were being eaten with smiling faces and giggles. It was the perfect time to snap some pictures of my cutie brothers and sisters and share the picture on Instagram and let everyone know how much fun I’m having this summer. It would be a great moment to share a Facebook status about all the fun I was having. But you know what I decided to do? I decided to take pictures on my awesome new camera and jump back in the pool and relish the moment of the smiles, sun, and freckles. Most moments are just better not shared; I don’t need twenty likes to confirm that I was having fun and neither do you.