How to Stay Sane in a Social Media World
Sanity in Surrender
When we surrender our lives to God, we surrender everything. We give Him our hearts, our minds, our will, our emotions, our social media… wait, what? Yes, even our social media. Surrender impacts every area of our lives.
In YWAM KC’s podcast, Sanity in Social Media, Raven Vincent shares how she’s been able to engage with social media and use it as a platform but not be swallowed up by it. There were five takeaways that I hope encourage you to think about social media in a new way!
It’s a Journey
I think one of the harder things in life is assuming I need to be perfect right away. That’s impossible. We can only take the knowledge we have and make good choices based on what we know. Do we grow and learn? Yes. Will we get it all right instantly? No way! Learning how to use social media in a healthy way is a process. Raven shared how we need to talk to God about our use of social media, whether we are influencers or just scrolling through.
Allow the Lord to Use It
Like I mentioned above, it’s a journey. How cool is it that God wants to be involved in every part of your life? Every. Part. When God created you and I, He didn’t just want a piece of us, He wants all of us! This includes our life online. What we do, say, and think when we’re engaging with social media, He sees and hears.
Whether we’re just scrolling through others’ posts or we’re an influencer with thousands or tens of thousands of followers, we ultimately live before an audience of One. We need to let the Lord use us. Are we growing from the time you spend on Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok…?
Why are you on social media? What’s the point? Where’s the growth? Is it for entertainment? Knowledge? Nothing? Are we on there to learn about current events, keep up with family and friends we don’t see frequently, or have some downtime? None of these things are wrong, it’s just good to find purpose in all that we do. I know literally a reflex for me sometimes when I pick up my phone to click Instagram… no matter the reason I picked up my phone. Or when I open a browser on my computer instead of typing in something I wanted to search, I type in “fa”, click enter, and suddenly I’m on Facebook. I’ve forgotten what I was going to do.
How often do we not know why we are doing what we’re doing? The “doing” isn’t necessarily wrong, but we must have a purpose.
When we don’t have a purpose for being on social media, it easily becomes a time suck. Did you know that with most smartphones we can put a limit on specific apps? I put one on Instagram, and it’s crazy how quickly that time flies some days. Now, if I have purpose in what I’m researching or posting, I can ignore it and continue on towards my goal. However, if I was just mindlessly scrolling through posts of delicious food, cute babies, or pretty places and clothes, then I stop and reassess. My time limit gives me an opportunity to turn off the time suck. That might seem extreme, but we need to actually look at how much time we spend on social media! Ask ourselves why? Unto what?
Raven is a big proponent of being on social media with a purpose! If you have a platform, use it wisely. You might spend more than 20 minutes a day on it, but maybe that’s okay! Use your voice. You have one. Just know your why and don’t let it suck the life out of you.
The Comparison Game
Comparison is death. As Raven puts it, we must have strength and confidence in who we are so that when we look at someone else’s life on social media, we can be happy for them and secure in who we are. If we resort to looking at their lives — whoever they are — and see how little we are living up to their piece of perfection, poison will seep in and death won’t be far off. God didn’t create us to be like anybody but Jesus.
As a challenge to those who do have a number of followers or who are influencers, Raven suggests that instead of being jealous, learn from others. If it’s something we can implement, then go for it! But if it’s something that will change the meaning of who we are, the purpose God has put in us, then we don’t need to implement it.
In the end, Raven reminded me to ask myself something I have to revisit often: have I laid down my social media to the Lord? Where do my thoughts go when I’m scrolling? Why am I posting the things that I am?
We can use social media in a healthy way. We just must remember who we are and Whose we are. Our identity is in Christ. Are we thinking about Jesus when we’re engaging with social media?
Like Philippians 4:8 tells us, “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.”