top of page

social media savvy

Hi there! We are on spring break and we sure are enjoying a break from the everyday, even if it just means we are still at home, just not working on schoolwork. In the spring break spirit, we are making some of our own unique fun. We visited a favorite local coffee shop and played in the field behind it, watched the train tracks, and found the stripey yellow cat that lives somewhere nearby.





I know people who are in Belize and Puerto Rico right now, but for us, the farthest place I will be traveling this week is Hobby Lobby. I need to replenish some of my craft supply and finish making some bows. I really hate making bows because I never get the ribbon to twist just right, but there they are anyway!




While others post pictures on social media of their exotic vacations or perfect-looking family photos, I often am left thinking I should be other places, doing other things than where I am. This is where the comparison game begins. No matter the age, from teenager to ordinary mom to grandma, social media plays a role in our lives. The brilliant white houses with no crumbs on the floor often makes me wonder why there are still Cheerios on mine. The girls in athleisure wear with false lashes taking car selfies holding coffee make me wonder why I don’t wake up each morning with lipstick on and lashes for days. I live in the wealthiest county in Tennessee and I see the monetary achievements here. I also notice depression and anxiety are prevalent here as well, so clearly money does not satisfy.


Speaking with my counseling clients and knowing humanity and myself, the isolation cause by COVID has exacerbated this problem. WIth not many real-life people to see, social media was the avenue by which to stay connected, which of course creates a false sense of what is real. Social media has been a benefit by keeping others connected and providing easy ways to gather ideas and information. It has also created a sense of false reality, which sends people into seriously unhealthy mental states, like depression and anxiety. People are filling counseling offices due to depression and anxiety, and as silly as it sounds, social media has a lot to do with it. I may be a counselor myself, but I fall victim to this way of thinking as well. I see what I do not have, feel stuck where I am, and believe the lie that what other people have would make me happier.


We know that nothing but Jesus ever truly satisfies. I admit that even this week, while people are traveling on exotic vacations and enjoying fresh seafood off the cruise ship, I am sitting at my desk, burning my fingers with the hot glue gun, making lopsided hair bows. Why am I not soaking up the warm sun under a palm tree like “everyone else”? These thoughts really make us question stuff about life, right?



GETTING REAL


Call it what it is. I read Colossians 1:15-20 this week, which includes, “He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead’s that He might come to have first place in everything.” Contentment can be difficult to come by at times. I long to own a house again, where I can paint and decorate. I wish I had more time. I would love to travel more. I wish I could afford to not worry about the cost of gas or food. Buuuuuut, where does that end? Let us call discontentment what it is: idolatry. YIKES! I know, I am with you, I don’t prefer to call it that myself, but we have to get real. What is idolatry? We go over this definition at home a lot and say idolatry is simply putting something else before God. When I am looking at other stuff so much and it becomes so important I just can’t stand it or it puts me in a foul mood, that is a sign it’s probably a problem. Ouch. Happens more than I would like to admit.


Remember God’s Words. Exodus 20:17 reminds us of the 10th commandment which is “do not covet your neighbor’s house.” You might be coveting your neighbor’s house, but of course includes anything someone else has that you want too. Clearly it is important to stay content in Jesus since this command is included in the 10 Commandments God gave Moses for our good. Linley reminded us just today that jealousy is a “green-eyed monster.” True story. It also takes hold and the enemy likes to keep it there to sit, grow, take over, and make us think we are missing out on everything.


Find satisfaction in Jesus. We know that only Jesus gives us satisfaction and contentment. It is totally possible for me to desire and pray for a house with a little more space while staying content in Him even in my current circumstances. I can be thankful for what I have while being honest with Him about my needs and desires. He gets us and I love that about God.


As a counselor, I love to work with practical steps to accomplish goals and that is also how I like to operate in life. So, what can we do about this social media stuff? How do we guard ourselves to keep it enjoyable? How can we be satisfied in the fullness of Jesus?


HOW TO DEAL


Remember you are in control. You can ignore, keep scrolling through, blocking, whatever it is you need to do to keep it in check. I personally have notifications turned off to avoid wasting time because I know myself and if I just scroll through, I begin to wonder why I am not in Fiji and why I am not a corporate CEO of a large company…you see where I am going. I know my limits!


Check your emotions. Are you irritable, stressed, or discouraged? It might be best to avoid the interaction. If you can keep a positive outlook for the day, go for it, but if it brings a dark cloud, think carefully about the invasive information.


Ask how important it is. Do you look at the world before you talk with God? Is it a distraction from more important work? Are you able to put it down when necessary?


Remember context. We all know it is “not real” and only a glimpse of the best of peoples’ lives, but we still often strive to live up to what we see. Remind yourself of the blessings God has given you. Paul wrote in Philippians 4:11, “I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content - whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need.” Life has not changed and we all need to remember how to stay content in the peace that Jesus brings. Hugs!


Love,

Charis









Comments


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Archive
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page