As a blogger, social media is a huge part of my life. I use it for so many things. In my personal life, it helps me keep up with friends and family who I may not otherwise see on a daily basis. I’ve been known to use it when I need a pick me up. Somebody is always sharing a funny video. I can use it to ask for a quick prayer request. I have some fantastic prayer warriors on Facebook.
I love Pinterest for ideas to make me feel crafty. And of course, for the recipes.
And who can forget, Twitter? The part of social media that I pretend to have figured out that I may never truly understand.
It’s all become an every day part of our lives. Which can be a great thing! …Or it can drive a little thing called comparison. Scrolling through the newsfeed feeling inadequate because Suzy Somebody has her whole family in a perfect pose while they have ice cream at the best ice cream place in town. Or perhaps having to take a picture with friends during EVERY SINGLE visit just so you can tag them in your picture on Facebook or Instagram. Since when do you have to take a picture with a friend to make it count? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, but where is your heart?
Is it waiting on approval?
A recent study claims that Facebook users mainly use it for 2 primary purposes: 1) the need to belong and 2) the need for self-presentation. Can we really argue with that? I will not argue that when I post a selfie that I took the time to find the one that gets me in the best light at the very best angle. I will not argue that I want to feel like I belong on social media channels. But what does this mean? It means that I put too much value on what others think.
Have you ever heard the quote, “don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle”? Well I’m going to take that to a different level.
This has all been on my heart lately. I have days when I am completely fine and having a great day only to scroll through my Facebook feed and end up feeling down. It’s not that I’m not thrilled for all the amazing things happening to my friends and family, but sometimes I find that my comparison monster likes to rear its ugly head and within moments I have unconsciously been brought down. The devil knows that I have issues with looking for approval and comparing myself to others. He relishes when I scroll through Facebook to find these things.
This is something that I have been praying about. In the meantime I’m trying to take action against the things that might cause me to stumble.
As Christ followers, we are to do the thing that others might not. It’s not easy missing out on things. Not going the same path that many others take. In my case, I feel the Lord calling me take a drastic measure. One that will take a stand against one of my temptations where comparison can lurk.
My church is starting 21 days of prayer and fasting starting January 1st. I’ve been contemplating on what I could do to really honor God. Facebook has slowly risen to the top of my heart as a way to honor God with fasting.
It may not seem like a drastic measure to some, but I find that it’s just enough to remove my focus from Him sometimes. I scroll through Facebook and post on there way more than I should throughout the day. This will probably prove to be quite the challenge!
For the next 21 days I plan to stay off of my personal Facebook. I will still be posting on my blog page, but personally I want to drop off the radar. Put this to the test. I’ve never gone longer than a couple of weeks! While on my Facebook fast, I hope to pray more for God to remove this spirit of comparison from me. I want to accept the approval of God and be completely content with it. Not to look to others as a means for measurement.
I have no doubt that God can help me overcome.
As moms, I think social media is harmful in the comparison department. You see the perfect photos of the perfect house. Kids dressed in clean clothes that were homemade for them. Comparison in the pinterest moms who are crafty. It’s a whole new meaning to keeping up with the Jones. It is harmful to self esteem. Makes us feel like we are failing in comparison. When reality is one picture or craft doesn’t show us the whole picture.
What about you? Do you feel that social media affects your mood or self-esteem? Do you find yourself making comparisons? I’d love for you to weigh in below!
For those who may be interested in fasting Facebook with me. Here are some tips:
- Remove the Facebook app and Messenger apps from your phone and other devices.
- Change your Facebook password to something crazy and email it to yourself (Or a spouse). The only way to login when you decide to end your fast will be to access that email. My husband has done this and it worked for him!
- Focus the time that you would be on Facebook onto reading the Bible or doing a study.
- Create Facebook statuses for when you do return that might encourage others and brighten their day.
- Read and encouraging book instead.
- Go for a walk!
- Enjoy time with family instead.