Aside from the obvious time that social media takes from your life, and how that may potentially affect your family, there is other fruit that I have been challenged to inspect in my life.
Can I ask you some of these things I have also been asking myself?
- How do the words and interactions in these outlets produce life and wholeness? Do they propel you further into knowing Christ more intimately and making Him known?
- Do you find you are engaging in idle talk, gossip, and wasteful words, even if it is subtle?
- Does constantly tracking your blog followers, subscriptions and Facebook ‘likes’ distract you away from putting your attentions and affections towards more important things? Are you seeking self-promotion to increase your sense of worth that should only be found in Christ alone?
- Do you spend more time in front of the screen than in activities that will draw you closer to Christ, such as reading your bible and praying?
- Have you filled your Pinterest boards with wants and fantasy that causes a dissatisfaction with what the Lord has given you (ie. how you want to ideally look, ‘dream home’ wish lists, etc).
- Has engaging in the social media world breed a dissatisfaction and lack of contentment in your heart?
- What do you spend the majority of the day meditating on?
- Have you managed relationships on Facebook status updates, and/or put your all your innermost thoughts online, instead of only sharing these with the Lord or within the sacredness of your marriage relationship?
- Most of all: where do the affections of your heart lie?
By all means, acknowledge if you are trying to fill an unmet need to belong, feel significant, stay connected, keep out of boredom, or something else. Run into the Lord to meet that need and let him direct you to the people he has placed in your life to add strength and encouragement to you, and for you to do likewise for them also.
I’m not going to say here what I believe the amount of time, or purpose for visiting these places online should be for you. I can only offer the suggestion that you look to the Lord to fill your heart with a sense of purpose and significance found in Him alone, and encourage you to ask him to reveal any way in you that does not lead you closer to him (Psalm 139:23-24).
For myself, the thought of reducing my internet time to almost nothing sets me in a tail spin: What if I lose all my readers? What if I miss out on important updates amongst my circle of friends? What if removing myself from being in front of my good friends affects my closeness with them? Will I be lonely/unconnected/isolated? Fears. Lots of them. Perhaps putting a mirror in front of myself is exactly what I need.
The Father is waiting there to meet with me. And I’m so ready to sit with him in the quiet and distraction-free place and hear what he has to say. I suspect the fruit from being with him will be eternal, liberating, and life-giving. I’m desperate to be engaged in things of eternal consequence and live a life extraordinary – and to raise children with this hope and desire also.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. – Philippians 4:8