The Constant Connection Curse: My Social Media Detox

“Your worth is not measured in likes, comments, retweets or follower counts. But rather in the number of lives you’ve touched in the amount of breaths you’ve taken.”

Towards the end of February, I went through a soul-seeking stage  where I examined myself and evaluated every relationship, habit, motive and hobby. My schedule was completely packed with meetings, events, classes and other things. My prayer to God is to always allow me to have a heart of flesh where I can feel His conviction. During this season, I was specifically asking Him to show me any shortcomings and areas of improvement. And boy, did He show me.

I remember one particular morning, I woke up (at 7:45 like every other morning) and did something I said I would never do. When my alarm went off, I sat up and scrolled down my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages, and responded to some emails. Realizing that I had been engulfed in the lives of others longer than I was supposed to, I said a quick “Good Morning, God,” and scurried out of bed. Runniunnamed (1)ng around my apartment trying to get ready for class, I managed to squeeze in my morning devotional while standing in front of the microwave for my Jimmy Dean biscuit to heat up. Did I take the time to pray over my day and the people I would come in contact with? No. Did I meditate on my devotional? No.  I merely ran my eyes across it just so I could scratch it off my morning to-do list. And just like He always does, God made that day an extremely hard one just to get my attention. Towards the end of that day, I sat on the floor completely drained. I asked God why I felt so burnt out yet had gotten nothing accomplished. I asked, “Daddy, why do I feel like I’m missing something?” Thinking nothing of it, I looked at one of my many to-do lists and God revealed to me my problem. Nowhere on my schedule was spending time with Him and resting at His feet.

Once again, I had my priorities all messed up. How did I allow spending time with God to be at the bottom of my list, and on certain days, not even make it on the list? There was the answer to my question. The reason I felt so burnt out was because I wasn’t spending enough time in the Word. After that realization, I cut off my phone, shut down my computer (two things I very rarely do) and went on my face to thank God for revealing to me my shortcomings. As that week continued on, God continued to show me a few things about myself.

First, He addressed the social media obsession I had. While observing my atmosphere at lunch with some friends, I noticed that too many of our conversations started with, “So I saw this post on Instagram.” Very rarely did we say anything about what we learned from our quiet studies that morning. God made this revelation personal to me because He addressed my own habits. Sad thing was, although I was always on Twitter and Instagram, I very rarely posted anything. The entire time I was scrolling, I was very quietly comparing what I saw to every part of my life. To be completely transparent, when I saw people traveling all over the world, or out with their significant others and friends, I would think to myself “I wish my life was like that.” Each time that would come out of my mouth, God would ask me “Are you not content with the portion I have freely given you?” … that was deep. After seeing what social media was doing to me and how it made me covet my neighbor and become ungrateful for seasons God allowed me, I knew I had no other choice. I had to delete everything that took my focus from where it should be. 

You see, there comes a time in your Christian walk where God requires certain things from you. Some seasons He may require you to boldly profess His love to lost souls, some seasons He may quiet your spirit and telunnamedl you to listen more than you speak– and then there are those seasons where He requests for you to let go of things just to see where your heart is. He wants you to see if you really do honor and trust Him as much as you claim you do. We can say over and over until we are blue in the face “God, I’m all in. I’m living my life for You. Nothing else means more to me than You!” But when He starts to expose your heart, it may be a totally different story. It takes you giving up a few things you really enjoy to  see whether or not your heart lines up with your words. Even in the Bible, Jesus tells his disciples to leave their homes and their families and follow Him. He may not require you to leave your family but He will tell you to let go of things– all you really need is HIM!!! 

If God sacrificed His ONLY Son for you, what are you willing to sacrifice for Him in return?

 After God took me through breaking the habit of obsessive social media checking, He began to totally remove the desire from me. Ironically, social media has become a major part of the industry I want to pursue. When I’m using social media for a job, my goal is to persuade the public to like the business I am representing. I’m displaying all the positive aspects of the company and hiding any mistakes they have made. Never will I exploit or show the shortcomings or defeats because that would leave a false impression on the public. This is the same thing people do with their personal “branding” on social media. You very rarely see someone glorifying their sorrow, depression and loneliness and being completely transparent and vulnerable on social media. If they do, it’s usually with a black and white filter and a “better days are coming” kind of quote to the picture.

eecardSo let’s take it a step further. Social media has done a great job with glorifying perfection or at least your followers false perception of your perfection. To be completely honest, I gave up on trying to be perfect a long time ago. It takes too much effort that I’m no longer willing to put forth. And then the amount of time it takes to perfect that perfection with senseless quotes and concealing filters is all to please.. man? Truth is, if we spent half the amount of time we use trying to please people trying to please God, the world would be a whole lot different. If God followed you on Twitter or Instagram, how many of the things you post would he actually “like” and take pleasure in? And I don’t mean unconsciously double-tapping as many of us do. I mean how many would He genuinely receive joy from? Because God sees past the daily morning scriptures we share on Instagram (as if everyone doesn’t have that Bible app on their phones- smh). It’s almost as if it has become something cool to do. He sees the heart and the motive behind it. If you do it just to receive likes, it means nothing to him.

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them.If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.  So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,  so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.  And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.  But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” – Matthew 6: 1-6

On that great day when you stand before God and He asks you why you deserve entrance into His Heavenly Kingdom, you can’t show him your Instagram and Twitter highlights and say, “God, I posted scriptures on Instagram every week! Look how many likes I got on them. I quoted your Word like you asked. How can I not gain entrance?”

Many will say to me on that day. Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and drive out demons and perform many  miracles?” –Matthew 7:22

For He will surely deny you and say He does not know you. You spoke my Word solely to impress men but you did not live  or apply one part of it to your own life. The words in that book are for life application! 

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

Matthew 7: 24-27

Your relationship with me died way before it was cool to senselessly  blast my Word online. Away from me. I never knew you.

 “Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ -Matthew 7:23

In actuality, how much of that kingdom living and word giving are you doing beyond the 140 characters? Discern your motives before posting God’s Word. #motivescheck

If you know your motives behind posting God’s Word are pure, by all means, GO FOR IT!! God instructs us to spread His Word in this wretched world we are in. But don’t use it as a way to increase your popularity and Instagram likes. God’s Word is the secret place He created for us with the Holy Spirit. I wouldn’t want you to miss out on those sacred, intimate moments with God where he whispers things to just your heart. Those moments are beautiful. Don’t take advantage of them by feeling the need to exploit them online.    

Social media, and all that comes along with it, has truly done something crazy in this already crazy world. It has the power to self-destruct, self-empower and enhance brand image all in one. Everyone does not struggle with placing too much importance on image and perfection. Some can control how often they use it. But for those who can’t, be careful how you allow the enemy persuade to use it. Don’t allow it to take up too much of your time where you are no longer giving attention to the things that are most important– like God! He is jealous for us and He wants to spend time repairing, renewing, and refreshing us. Give Him the time He deserves. Ask God today what it is He requires of you to give up.

I pray that while reading this you have heard God tell you something about your own walk.

I pray that His grace continues to you keep you while His love continues to convict you. Jesus loves you like crazy!!

btw, Heather Lindsey came out with a new book- Dusty Crowns. It is amazing!!

Also, listen to her sermon “The Runaway Bride”