How to Overcome Social Media Troubles: Relationships and Interruptions
To the woman bound to social media,
In the last few times we have gotten together we have talked about some of the unintended consequences of social media. First, we talked about five red flags that we need to avoid in social media. Then we looked at biblical ways to rectify the social media troubles of discontentment and comparisons. Today we will examine the means to improve our relationships and prevent social media from interrupting our lives.
Relationships are important. God calls us to carry each other’s burdens~ Galatians 6:2; and be devoted to one another in love, honor, grace, and hospitality ~ Romans 12:3-13. Further, consider Ecclesiastes 4:9-12:
"Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."
Our lives were designed to have companionship and intimacy. Not for isolation and loneliness.
Notice the actions mentioned in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, the actions are carried out in the physical presence of others. If someone falls, we help them up, if someone is cold, we keep them warm, if someone is being bullied we defend them. One could argue that these metaphorically could also be done with relationships online, but there is something special and meaningful about being in the physical presence of others, doing life together with others.
"Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved" ~ Acts 2:46-47
Daily those of the early church met together, broke bread together, praised God together, and daily, the Lord added to their community. See, there is something special, meaningful, and intimate that results from doing real life together with others.
We can definitely meet and connect with many wonderful people through social media, I have, but we shouldn't use social media to replace the relationships we experience in real life. Thus, some tips are to be present and be engaged.
God calls our love to be genuine, and this requires attention and effort.
Sincere love demands time, personal involvement, and hospitality. Your presence with others can speak louder than words. "There is power in presence" (Life.Church 2017b).
God calls us to be engaged. Reach out to others in your community, others in need. Love like Jesus, and show love to others.
"Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth." ~ 1 John 3:18
It's more than following someone on social media, texting them, commenting on their status or picture, show love by being in each other's physical presence and being engaged.
If you have read the article 5 Things to Avoid in Social Media, then you may be participating in the free Social Media Detox Challenge. And if you are, you may notice that you have more time and energy to engage with others and in other activities.
Trouble comes when we become figuratively chained to our technology and social media.
It interrupts and distracts us from perhaps our job, family, friends, rest, or time with God.
Two Bible verses come to mind when I think about this trouble.
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. ~ 1 Corinthians 6:12
Yes, we have the freedom to use social media whenever and wherever. But is it always beneficial? No. Can social media become our master if we let it? Yes.
"making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise," ~ Ephesians 5:15-16
Does social media help us redeem our time wisely? Or is it an interruption and distraction at times?
How can we be strategic with the time we spend on social media? How can we plan for the spiritual and mental rest we need unplugged from social media?
Life.Church provides two effective tips; we need to be still, and we need to plan.
Quiet time of stillness and reverence to God is biblical ~ Psalm 46:10 and Psalm 131:2 and it can be as simple as beginning with 5 minutes. We can turn our phones on Do Not Disturb or turn our phones off.
Proverbs 13:16 states that the wise act with knowledge. Let us be wise with planning our time on social media. If you do not know where to start, download the free Social Media Detox Challenge available if you sign up for the Yours Truly, LeNae newsletter. This challenge is a great resource for you to use as a starting point for creating a social media plan.
Hopefully you are beginning to see some betterment in your social media use and the troubles associated with social media. I look forward to meeting with you again for the last article in this series, How to Overcome Social Media Troubles: Image. See you soon!
Yours Truly, LeNae
P.S. If you are struggling with social media and know you need to detox but are not sure how, subscribe to the Yours Truly, LeNae newsletter and download the free Social Media Detox Challenge. Leave a comment below; I'd love to hear from you.
Life.Church. 2017. #Struggles: Relationships. https://www.life.church/watch/struggles/relationships/. Accessed June 16.