There are a lot of definitions out there for the word social. I have always thought of social as meaning liking to be around people, friendly or outgoing.
I recently took a 10 day detox from social media. It was harder than I thought it would be. I had to delete the apps off of my phone because I would mindlessly pick up my phone and open the apps. This was one of my main discoveries… my brain has been trained that it needs to constantly be entertained. It is a habit when I get bored, when I am being still, when someone is talking at me not to me, when I am in an uncomfortable situation; I pick up the phone and open a social media app. Now, I am learning to pick up a book, pick up my planner, just make myself be still, lean in to the conversation, ask questions, make some hot tea and just be more present!
I felt like I was going to disappear. This is another big one. I realized a fear I have: if I am not posting what I am doing, no one will think I am doing anything! Yuck! Even reading that makes me nauseous, but it is the cold revolting truth. Man, I had no idea that much insecurity and the need to impress people had crept into my life. What may of started out as a small seed had taken over like kudzu on the side of an Alabama country road. I realized I have a deep issue with many tangled and interwoven roots that God is still helping me dig up. It is uncomfortable and hard but necessary for my growth. Why am I concerned with what people think I am doing?
I stalk people. I know.. it is awful, but I do. There, I confess.. I use social media to find out more information about others, to see what they are up to or just look at their pictures. Wouldn’t it be much better to pick up the phone and check in on a friend if I want to see what they are up to?
Scrolling makes me discontent. One minute I am fine with my life, my accomplishments and what I have going on. The next I feel like I am not doing enough. I feel that maybe I would be more fulfilled if I was doing what she is doing, if I was having that for dinner, if I was vacationing there, if… We don’t like to think that we compare, but oh we do and it leads straight to discontentment.
Social media is not social at all. It isn’t very friendly: it is a place people look for arguments, a place people judge others, a place we pretend we have friends and a platform for negativity. Instead of sending a thank you card, we post something on Facebook – which is not personal at all!! Instead of actually dropping off soup when someone is sick, we post “Let me know if I can do anything.” How about we just do something!! Instead of asking our spouse about their day, we are looking up the barista at Starbucks or checking in on an ex. Instead of listening to our kids, we are agreeing to whatever they just asked us so they will leave us alone and we can get back to scrolling. All the while we are convinced we are being social and good citizens because of social media; when in fact we are being anti-social. Maybe we should call it anti-social media.
Or maybe it is my fault. You see, I could just delete people who are rude and negative. I could learn to limit my time on social media. I could become more self-aware of own insecurities and issues. I could pick up the phone every time I felt the urge to see how a friend is. I could just drop off the soup. I could just send a card. I could stop getting on my phone when I am in the presence of other people. I could pray about why I feel the need to connect with someone from my past. I could tell my spouse their social media habits bother me instead of blaming Mark whoever made Facebook. Maybe.. I have become not so social and need to fix myself. Then maybe I could enjoy the useful tool that social media can be.