I’m a person who really enjoys being connected with others. I thrive on having an active social life. While social media is a way to stay connected, I’ve found that I prefer other ways. There is a certain app which I used to use, which connected me with friends, family, and people from the across the world. However, at a certain point, I began spending a lot of time on it. At this time, I am not using that particular app. I’m really trying to be more mindful and intentional about my usage of social media. I want to share a few thoughts on social media in general, as well as effects of not using that particular app:
- I feel my stress level go down when I am not using that app. Somehow I feel the need to keep checking the app for updates. When it’s uninstalled, I actually forget about it. If I don’t feel the need to use it when it’s not there and forget about it…What was the point in using it at all? It must not have been important.
- I’m less distracted. That particular app could be compared to information overload, and many people talking at you. It was easy to just keep scrolling and scrolling. Yet, what for? What am I hoping to find by continuously scrolling? It’s a good question to ponder.
- I can hear from my friends instead of from the app. It’s great to hear from my friends what is actually going on with them. If I see a post, I might skim over something when we are in conversation next, thinking that I already know about it. In reality, a post can only say so much. I prefer genuine conversation instead of social media posts.
- Life holds less drama. Sometimes when using social media, there might be a request from someone that I don’t feel particularly needs to know the details of my current life. When I’m not using that app, that stress is taken away.
Social media is wiring our brains differently. In the past, people knew how to simply enjoy an event and the people they spent time with. Now, people seem to be more focused on getting the picture perfect shot to portray to the world this event and their part in it. And that, I think, is very sad. God gives us the gift of time and life. No day can be repeated.
Social media is changing the way that people relate to one another. It is easier to hide behind a screen and air your grievances than to actually dialogue, face to face, with the other person. People find it easier to be unkind to one another.
I worry about children being so savvy with electronics. So many kids are pacified by their parents letting them watch a show or scroll on their phones. It’s worrisome to think about children growing up using phones and electronics more than holding face to face conversations. Another issue with social media and children is the use of children as “influencers.” Having your kids pose in a certain way or to sell products…I just don’t wan’t any part of it. I’m sure glad that social media was not around when I was a child. I would have been embarrassed at the prospect of my embarrassing childhood stories being posted for all the world to see. Yikes! Even if a child gives permission for their pictures to be posted, a child doesn’t really comprehend the magnitude of what this entails. There are people out there with evil intentions. I’m so startled by the amount of information that people offer about their children’s and family’s lives. I think that family life is a sacred space. All the sorrows, and even joys, don’t need to be plastered out there for the world to see.
Social media is a tricky thing. It is a way that many people continue to be connected with one another nowadays. However, it brings all kinds of problems. We must take it to prayer and be discerning. The Holy Spirit will show us the way in regards to what social media to use, and what to stay away from in our own lives.
Any other thoughts about social media–the good, the bad, and the ugly?