A few weeks ago I posted about my journey to use social media in a healthy way. Between my girl crush Hannah Brencher and an email I received on Monday, I felt the need to dig further into healthy social media habits.
Sometimes I feel like as a Jesus follower, I shouldn't enjoy social media. I get this vibe from people that somewhere in the depths of Proverbs there is a verse that says "social media is the root of all evil." Occasionally, I feel shame for enjoying social media.
I'm here to tell you that I have read Proverbs and there is in fact, no verse that speaks to social media which makes sense considering that the lightbulb had yet to be fathomed. However, I do think we can apply Biblical principles to social media and enjoy this space in our culture in a healthy way.
I was sitting in my cube on Monday when I received this email from one of my fellow staffers:
"Whit, We're going to be doing a workshop on technology/ social media. If you're able, would you give me the top things you would communicate to college students about honoring God w technology?"
I think I responded to her within 3 minutes of receiving that email because aside from essential oils and my cat, there are few things I speak about more. I put off writing this post out of insecurity, but this morning as I sat reading (feebly attempting to memorize) Philippians 1:20-24, this specific verse struck me:
"...as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death."
As always, I will honor Christ. Whether that's in my marriage or my work or my time spent. Whether I'm running or laughing with friends, or resolving conflict, or posting on social media. As always, Christ will be honored.
Here are the top three points I gave her (many of these are pieces I've learned from following HB):
1. Look Up and Show Up. "Real life happens off screen." When my friends went to Italy last month I (sorta) jokingly said: "post pictures so I can vicariously live through you." Social media makes it suuuuper easy to live through someone. Meanwhile our own life goes un-lived. Your life is valuable. What you have to offer is important. Live your life. You're doing a disservice to yourself and to US if you spend your time trying to live someone else's life. Your life is unique. The way God intricately designed you is worthy of being known and celebrated whether that's on social media or elsewhere.
2. Check Yo'Self before you wreck yo'self. You've meticulously edited and cropped and filtered and captioned, but before you hit that Share button, check yourself: WHY am I posting? Am I filing this pic under "self-promotion" and trying to prove myself? Am I posting to try to cover up the messy parts of my life? Although I am not responsible for someone else's insecurities, am I intentionally posting this to passive-aggressively get back at someone?
3. Consume with Care. This is tricky for me. I genuinely love people and love seeing how they spend their time. There is a particular blogger, she's around my age and posts beautiful photos. I identify with her in a lot of ways. She hasn't quite "made it" as a lifestyle blogger, but she's posting faithfully and constantly gaining followers. I realized that after months of following her and interacting with her blog, I was slipping into the comparison zone. I started feeling insecure whenever she posted. It seems obvious, but as I laid in bed last night, I finally realized I could unfollower her. I don't have to consume this stranger's content. It's not helping my life, it's making me more insecure. So I clicked unfollow and felt a huge weight lifted. Maybe you're more mature than I am and this feels like an obvious point, but it took me realizing how insecure and judgmental I was to finally unfollow. Be wary of who you follow, you don't have to follow people who make you feel terrible about yourself. U N F O L L O W .
These are just 3 of the many social media guidelines I use as I attempt to honor the Lord on my social media. I'm still working on the goals I want to have for each of my posts, but the most important for me is to ALWAYS honor Christ. I'll do that pretty imperfectly, but I do desire to grow in my social media mission.
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