You may or may not have noticed, but I have been absent from the social media world for the last month including Facebook, Twitter, and the toughest one to step away from, my blog. I have multiple reasons (in my head) as to why I’ve stepped away, however, I’d like to share a couple of them with you here.
I had this train of thought a long time ago when I first jumped in to the pool of social media. I looked at the pool and decided that it didn’t look deep enough to drown, so I jumped in to the deep end. Little did I know, that I wasn’t strong enough. I allowed myself to get consumed by the hundreds of “friend” requests, likes, shares, follows, and everything else that came with it. I was constantly checking in to see how many “likes” I received and who was following me today. Totally, completely, 100% self-involved. I had stepped away awhile back, but then slowly but surely eased my way back in. The second time around, I did the smart thing by easing in to the shallow end. This had lasted up until last month. However, my reason for stepping away from social media is not due to any fault of my own. I thought I stayed pretty “safe” from the trappings of Facebook and Twitter. This was now something completely different.
I remember the moment vividly. In fact, my wife can attest to this night. We were both relaxing, unwinding from our day. The kids were bedded down for the night, and I had grabbed my phone to scroll through my various feeds. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I happened upon this:
Short of throwing my phone across the room (because it’s expensive and my wife would kill me), I set my phone down, and said, “I’m done. I can’t do this anymore.” Thousands upon thousands of people were taking time to share this goat. I was flabbergasted! Really?! Now let me back up a minute. I’m positive that there have been things I’ve posted or shared that would fit in to the “Are you kidding me?!” category. I’m the first to admit it and claim my guilt. But this did me in. This was my awakening.
So why not just “unfriend” certain people who share these types of things? Why step away all together? Great question! Thanks for asking. For me, I have to back away all together. Because if I simply unfriended the sharers-of-goats, what would pop up next? Ultimately, Facebook and Twitter became too large of a distraction for me. I was allowing it to take up too much of my time. The conviction of spending my time scrolling through feeds versus spending time with my family, or even getting in to God’s Word weighed very heavy upon my heart. Am I stepping away for good? At this point, no. But only time will tell if I feel the need to jump back in the pool.
Allow me to share a final thought and word of encouragement with you. The social media world is not all bad. Like everything in this world, you have to know your limits. You have to be able to discern what is appropriate and what is not for yourself. I’m not here to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do. Yet, we all need to take a very close look at what we’re dedicating a lot of our time to. Those of us who claim Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, this is a good place to start. “But I post scripture and positive, uplifting quotes and pictures.” Yes, these can be good, but is it replacing your personal, quality time in the Word with the Lord? Are you replacing your devotional time by gaining encouragement from social media? It’s definitely worth a look. In one of my first blog posts, I asked some very critical questions concerning social media. Allow me to revisit those here (you can read the whole post here):
How am I using this technology to further the kingdom of God?
Am I drawing closer to the Lord through these means of communication?
Are those who I am reaching going to be encouraged/uplifted by my use of this technology?
You can probably think of other, deeper questions about the use of social media, but this is where I started, and have had to revisit recently. Maybe it’s time you do the same. Don’t allow the enemy to distract you from Who you should be striving for! Don’t think that Satan can use social media to draw you away, or keep you stagnant in your relationship with the Lord? Then by all means, keep sharing goats. Should you need further encouragement, support, or accountability, I’m very happy to make myself available to you.
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” ~ Colossians 3:15-17
Rak Chazak!! God bless you!!