Social Media Heart Check: How to Know If You Need One
We all love that comedian, John Crist, and his check your heart bit. Well, maybe not ALL of us. But I certainly do. It is super funny and I always get a nice little giggle out of it. But sometimes we really do need to check our hearts when it comes to things in our lives.
And by things I mean social media. Yep, I’m going there.
We should all go there. Social media can be great. Especially now when we STILL have to social distance because of a global pandemic. Social media can be a lifeline for some. No shame in that. But when it becomes more than that then it is time for a social media heart check.
Almost a year ago, I gave up social media for lent. I had no idea Covid was a thing and wasn’t expecting a global pandemic to shut down the world. I just felt like I needed to step away from Facebook and Instagram. It was consuming me and my life. I’m going to let you in on a secret. I have a tendency to be a VERY jealous person. The green-eyed monster is always looking for a way to get me,and social media gives jealousy an incredibly large door to walk through.
It didn’t matter how many times I told myself that people show you what they want you to see or that most of this stuff isn’t real. I was still comparing myself to everyone on the world wide web with a social media page. It wasn’t pretty. I didn’t like who I was becoming so as I was praying about what should go for lent, social media was the obvious answer.
You know what? I never went back. I do handle the social media page for my job but I don’t look at my personal page anymore. I steer clear of all of that. I don’t even miss it. It leaves me more time to pour into the people around me. My family, friends, and neighbors because I’m not busy comparing myself to someone I don’t even really know.
So what about you? Do you need a social media heart check?
You may be wondering how you would know if you did. I’m so glad you asked!
Here are a few signs that you may need to take a break or at least scale back.
1.You Spend Hours on Social Media
Look, we can all get carried away online but if you are spending hours a day looking at your news feed to make sure you didn’t miss anything, then you might need to take a break. If you don’t want to say goodbye completely then you could set some parameters. And here is the kicker, you will need to follow them for this to work.
For example, you could say “I’m only checking my social media accounts at 9 am and 8 pm” or whatever you decide but make it a long stretch between.
Spending so much time online takes time from things that really matter like your relationship with the Lord, your family, and those right outside your front door. God made us for more than social media. We need a community that isn’t on a computer screen. So make yourself some rules, stick to them, and go meet your new neighbor (socially distanced of course).
2.You Aren’t Content With Your Life
This one maybe isn’t as obvious. You may be wondering what contentment has to do with your social media account. Well, a lot, actually.
When we constantly look to the other side of the fence, we think the grass is going to be greener. It is better in that family. Or those kids behave better or look at how great their marriage is. ANOTHER date night! How about thoughts like “where did they get the money for that????”
If you are prone to jealousy like I am, social media is the last place you need to be spending time. Because, real talk, the people you are looking at, their lives don’t really look like that. They are showing you the highlight reel. It is like watching a preview for a movie. The filmmakers show you the best parts to get you to buy a ticket. But there are times when the movie is terrible and you wonder why you just wasted $9 and two hours of your life (by the way, movies were $2 when I was in high school. I just dated myself, your welcome.).
You aren’t getting the whole picture so turn around and look at your own field. Love the people in your home, around your home, and for goodness sakes water your own grass. That is how it becomes green.
3.You Are Always Checking For Likes
Do you post something and check constantly to see if anyone is liking or commenting? Do you get down on yourself when there aren’t as many likes or comments as you thought there would be? This is a sign that you need a social media heart check. Sharing parts of your life on social media isn’t bad, but if you are looking for validation from followers or Facebook friends instead of Jesus, then that is a problem.
No amount of followers or social media friends can give you what Jesus can. Not everyone will like what you post or say or do. But If you love Jesus and follow him, then you are loved no matter what. No amount of likes can take the place of that.
Maybe you don’t need to do what I did and say goodbye to social media completely. But if you see yourself in this list then it might be a good idea to spend some time in prayer and ask God what you need to do about it.