You don’t need every tier, but the fewer you have, the more incomplete you will feel.
If you’re doing it right, social media will undergird and strengthen relationships, from the top down. If you’re not doing it wrong, social media will amplify disconnection and loneliness.
Social media friends are mostly padding for your ego.
Social media profiles don’t determine how many friends or followers you have. Those are just numbers, mostly padding for the ego. If you find yourself struggling with loneliness, ask yourself how many intimate relationships you have.
3. You can’t commit to anything because you’re afraid of missing something better.
Several years ago, this behavior was dubbed FOMO (fear of missing out). Today, I think it’s called normal. The source of its rise? Social media.
Jill is kickin’ it on the beach. Timmy is posing with the crew on a mission trip in Africa (#blessed). Everyone seems to be killin’ this life thing but you, so says social media.
Without some inner work, constantly checking your heart and aligning your decisions with your values, you end up playing the game. Rather than embracing the life in front of you, you hold out, waiting for the next experience so you can one-up Jill and Timmy.
This game is competitive yet it has no winner. You can’t compete with your timeline, mostly because what you see is a facade.
If making decisions brings anxiety, you might spend too much time on social media.
4. You often say or do things you later regret.
One of my favorite books of all time is Victor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. In it, he says this, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
I would let Frankl elaborate, but he’s dead. So I’ll give it a try. Regardless of situation, you have the power to choose your response. You can’t necessarily choose the circumstances (or stimulus). But you can always choose your response. The space between a situation and a response is where growth and freedom live.
Social media decreases this space, leading to high levels of sensitivity and low levels of emotional resilience.
5. You have a low tolerance for people who don’t think like you.
Social media platforms want you to spend more time on their site, so they give you more of what you like. These platforms filter your feed based on previous likes, clicks, etc. In other words, social media pads your ego by strengthening your confirmation bias.
If you’re hardline conservative, for example, chances are your feed won’t include posts about Black Lives Matter or knocks against President Trump. If you lean left (I hate labeling people this way, but it gets the point across, so…), you won’t see posts supporting traditional marriage or travel bans on refugees.
And both sides said, “Amen.”
Yeah, except this doesn’t promote much tolerance, compassion or humility. Especially if you’re a Christian, this is bad. This is one of the greatest challenges facing our generation.
How do we find common ground and come to the table with people who think different from us?
6. You have no boundaries between personal and private moments.
I see Christians post pics about alone time with God. While I’m not judging, I wonder about the motivation behind this? Some moments are too intimate for a timeline, too powerful to be contained in 140 characters (or less).
I fear we irreparably harm our peace and joy when every moment becomes shareworthy. Whether it’s lunch with a good friend, date night with your spouse or intimate time with God, we can’t fully embrace a moment while simultaneously trying to capture it. We also can’t embrace a moment when it’s interrupted with chirps and rings.
One of the greatest gifts you can give any one is your full attention. I suspect the most grateful, content among us understand this.
It’s your turn.
This article was written by Frank Powell and originally appeared at his blog. Find it here.
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