I was never one that simply had no social media. I’m pretty sure there was a time that I was on every platform possible and posted more than I probably ever needed to. Social media was my lifeline for a while, it was the way I connected with friends once moving from Virginia and quickly became something I used out of habit. Instead of being a help or a platform or a connecting point, it started to become my crutch.
It started to become time consuming, mind controlling, and emotion evoking in ways that were unhealthy. I remember doing a week break from twitter during my senior year of high school and feeling withdrawal. I started to recognize my constant need to document any thought that ran through my mind, even though most of it could be labeled as “wise” and “profound” or even “point people back to Christ”. It wasn’t that the things I tweeted were bad, they just started to be done out of pride and with the intent of others praising me.
Social media started to replace conversation with the Lord. It still does sometimes to this day, if I’m being totally honest. It brought instant gratification and a quick fix to voice what I was going through or to be praised for things others wouldn’t know about unless it had been posted. It gave way to false vulnerability. It gave me a sense of affirmation and attention that I didn’t always “feel” with God. I turned to social media to document my trials and triumphs the moment I decided they were resolved instead of sitting with Abba and letting Him decide when they truly were resolved. I let others’ likes and comments replace the voice of my Creator!
Because if people affirmed I was doing well in life or that what I posted was a “good word”, then it truly must have meant I was thriving; even if I had just pulled myself off the ground out of my tears before posting what I had just “processed with the Lord”.
I tried social media fasts. I tried deleting the apps on my phone and only visiting them once a month. I tried it all and I was still left drained. I had to sit and ask myself why I was keeping certain platforms. I had to ask if spending time on those platforms was simply giving me ways to escape talking to God first and foremost. To say the least, it was a lot of questioning, lots of asking heart intentions, and loads of tracking the ways social media affected me subconsciously.
At the end of the day these accounts were disposable. At the end of the day they couldn’t measure up to the desire I had to live in the present and to dwell in God’s presence. At the end of the day they fell to the wayside in comparison to other dreams and priorities I held. I recognized the usefulness of some and disposed of the ones that were simply white noise.
I recognize this is ironic that I’m posting about social media and premature processing on a social media platform where many other people can read it and comment, etc. And honestly I almost didn’t write this. I almost didn’t write it out of fear that it would be yet another post written out of false humility and a desire for people to recognize possible good wisdom I had acquired. I almost didn’t write it in case I came off as judgemental, hypocritical, or that I was preaching to others that they should join me in this.
My story isn’t your story. My convictions won’t always be others’ convictions. This isn’t another post about something I just learned and want to boast about, it’s simply a confession. It is a confession that I am so far from perfect, that I’d rather write and speak of what I’m learning as it happens instead of being still in God’s presence. It’s a confession that I let social media fill the spaces that His voice should be filling. It’s an “I’m still processing this and fail every day” confession. And I’m ok with that, or at least am learning to be ok with that.