In the last blog, I asked the question, “Is Social Media Really Hindering You?”
If you haven’t read that post, the conclusion boiled down to this: Social media is not wrong. (In fact, our family has a Facebook page that we update regularly.) However, social media can be a huge hinderance to us if it takes a bigger part of our lives than it should.
This week, I want to move past whether social media is wrong or not, and talk about success. More specifically, how our success relates to social media…
Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr…The list goes on. These social media sites are created to help us stay in touch with each other so we can become more successful in our relationships, businesses, and social endeavors. (They also give us the wonderful platform from which to show others the extent of our success.)
Then, in return, everywhere we look on these social media sites, we can see how our friends and family have been successful in various areas in their lives. These sites are filled with photos of talented children winning medals in sports competitions, singing/musical awards, or hunting trophies. Job achievements and promotions are exuberantly shared, and our latest culinary achievements are portrayed enticingly enough to make a person want to lick the screen!
We share our milestones of birthdays, anniversaries, and special moments on social media, as well as giving others a glimpse of the ministry or church functions we’re participating in. And each time we meet someone new and add them as a “friend” or they become a “follower,” we become just a bit more socially successful. We are staying more connected with others.
But, in the meantime…
Social media has hindered our true success. It has slowly been eating away at us like a silent cancer. A killer. It continues to make us appear like someone we are not. We have regressed from being successful to being deceived.
Do we measure our success by the things we’ve accomplished? Are we successful once we’ve earn a promotion on our job or won a certain medal? Have we become effective once we’ve received a certain amount of “likes” or “friends?” Are we successful in our relationships when a smiling family photo hides the deeper issues we’re struggling with? When our homes look like they came directly from Pinterest— is this the achievement we’re running after?
Let me ask you…Have you found success through social media? In my own life, I’ve found that social media has been a hinderance to my true success. Let me explain…
I believe that one of the big ways I am successful in life is when I have my priorities properly balanced. And I believe this begins by having my relationship with God as my first priority. This includes my first waking thoughts being on Christ and not on Facebook or checking emails. (How many times do we reach for our phones instead of our Bibles? Ouch!) I also desire to have an attitude of prayer as I’m going throughout my day, but several weeks ago, I found that social media was a distraction for me. Yes, I agree that we can be reminded of more ways to pray, but this has never made time in my day to pray. It had robbed me of it! Social media has become a god to many people because we are far more in tune with it than with God.
After my relationship with God, my husband and children should be next on my priority list. Social media shouldn’t distract me from keeping this priority.
Let me ask you…Do your children or your spouse ever feel neglected because of social media? Do they become frustrated by your distraction with electronics? If so, then in God’s eyes, you’re not truly being successful! We may be able to stay better connected with old school friends and distant relatives, but meanwhile we are preoccupied and less connected with those closest to us.
Social media can be a tool for us to use, but it can also be devastating. It is important for us to set boundaries with it or it will soon control us. Social media can be addicting. How many times have we found ourselves spending more time on it than we were planning on? How many times do you find yourself thinking about social media rather than thinking about God and His will for your life?
I have set clearer boundaries with what I do on social media and I have more freedom, time, and joy than I had before. I used to feel the pressures and obligations of too many people, but I am feeling much freer to now live “in the moment” with the ones who are physically around me or closest to me. I have had more time to play with our little girls, hear the hearts of the older ones, and am also more connected with my husband.
And guess what? I have a greater level of joy than I did before. I have fewer fearful thoughts lurking in my mind from all the negative and bad reports I used to read. Yes, there is a lot of evil in this world. I can’t stop the evil, but I can stop it from seeping into my life and soul.
Being successful in God’s eyes is one of my heart’s desires. And social media was hindering me. You may be stronger in this area than I was, and maybe it is not a problem for you. However, let me challenge you with this:
Ask God to show you if your relationship with Him has been strengthened through social media. Take a hard look at what you are thinking about majority of the time. Do you spend as much time with the Lord as you do with your phone or with “friends?” Ask those closest to you whether they’ve ever felt frustrated or neglected because of your wrong, preoccupied focus. Then determine to make a fresh start at becoming a true success in God’s eyes. After all, that’s really what counts!
~Cindy (For The Mullett Family)