Like any kind of addiction, social media addiction creeps in unannounced and silently steals your time, your energy and your productivity.
It grieves me to admit this, but in order to help myself and hopefully help you, I must admit that I have a problem. I am a social media addict.
At first, it was about connecting with old and new friends, sharing information, learning new stuff and just generally being cool. Then I realized how to connect it with my job as a media practioner, and it became about building a brand, and creating a virtual media business.
That done, I got saved, and I saw on social media, an opportunity to share Christ with the world in 140 characters. (or more) Well… Here I am, and I’ve found myself at a place where i believe God needs my attention more than my “friends, fans, followers” do.
You ask me; why do you think you’re addicted? Truth is, God convicts us at different times in different ways and my own time now, because every time I log in when I’m not supposed to, or i stay on longer than I should, there’s a certain tug on my heart and I become uncomfortable.
1 Corinthians 6:12 (NLT)
You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything.
Apart from that however, there are some general indicators that any social media using Christian should watch out for.
It cuts shorts your bible study: I love to study my bible. I love to discover new things in God’s word. But these days, as soon as I read or find something interesting, my mind begins to craft how to share it online.
When I pick up my tab to open the bible app, i only need to see the twitter or instagram app beside it and i become distracted and i open that instead. When setting aside time for bible study becomes a struggle because you’re constantly tweeting or sharing photos (even if it’s about Jesus) there’s something really wrong.
Jesus would rather have us commune with him in his presence than talk about him with an empty heart.
You obsess about your reputation: Notice the word “obsess”? When you care too much about what people think about you, forgetting the fact that Jesus “made himself of no reputation” for us, it can easily slide Into pride.
Philippians 2:7 (NKJV)
but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
The more attention you get on social media, the more you worry about maintaining that attention. You begin to deliberately search for witty posts, controversial posts, funny or even sarcastic posts, just to keep the attention on you.
What this does to you is that you stop saying what God wants you to say, and you start preaching your own gospel. And if you get the feedback you don’t like? You lash out in irritation or anger because you can’t handle anyone not agreeing with your views.
When you begin to seek validation and relevance from social media, it’s time to reexamine your mind and ask God to help you focus on what is really important to him.
Get this; I’m not saying social media is a bad thing. (In fact, I think its super-duper amazing) but you do know that too much of anything (no matter how good) is bad. God wants us to have self-control, it’s a character of the spirit.
Let this scripture help you:
2 Peter 1:5-6 (NLT)
In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness,
If you’re addicted like me, it’s not going to be easy getting out. The recovery program is tough. But the grace of God, his unconditional love and strength is available for us by the spirit. But you have to be willing and be ready to do whatever he asks you to do.
I am more than willing. At this point, i have submitted myself to God’s discipline and i am open to whatever the correction will be. i can’t make any decision in my own strength so i completely rely on him to handle me. But one thing i’m certain of, is that i will tweet less and study more.
Wanna Join me?