Hi, my name is Joy and I am addicted to Social Media.
Ok. Well, I’m currently weaning myself off so perhaps ‘addicted’ may be too of a strong word. But once an addict, always an addict, right?
I’ve been meaning to write this post for the past two months and I still remember how it came to me. My memory is quite bad so exact details are pretty vague but I still remember thinking, I need to write about this because I can’t be the only one. I was in my kitchen eating…let’s say I was eating chicken
(my favourite thing ever; how stereotypical of me) and a random thought dropped into my mind. I decided it was pithy and witty (how modest of me) and I immediately reached for my phone in order to tweet my thought.
Is this normal?
Well, of course it isn’t normal.
Wanting to share benign, sacred, emotional, happy, *insert here* moment isn’t normal. In fact, it’s a very strange phenomenon that all millennials (myself included) engage in. We have this need to share our lives with people we no longer know intimately in a way (most of our) parents do not. My Dad refuses to even subscribe to Whataspp and my Mum still can’t understand why I am posting things on ‘the Facebook’. They simply cannot comprehend why every moment I experience has to be shared with hundreds of people. My parents certainly captured moments. My childhood moments are all collated in albums in my Father’s study – there are hundreds of pictures which depict my ‘firsts’, birthdays and the likes. The difference is, these moments stayed within the family and that was enough for them. There were no likes, comments or personal messages to validate the moment or even prove that it occurred, but it was captured anyway.
As I began to question my desire to tweet my
pithy and witty thought, I realised that the thought of deactivating my accounts on Facebook and Twitter made me ask questions such as ‘So what will I do?’ and ‘Who will I talk to?’ I don’t know about your experience on Social Media but Twitter and Facebook have never actually spoken to me. I think Social Media creates a feeling of interconnectivity even when we are alone. On long journeys, I can scroll through Twitter and laugh for hours on end, I can admire people over on Instagram, and if I really want to punish myself, I can run over to Facebook and see all the declarations of love and marriage proposals. But just yesterday, when I was attempting to study the providence of God and trying to understand Him just that bit more, I got tired and packed up after 15 minutes, promising myself that I would return the next day.
Is this normal?
Of course it is.
When it comes to the things of God, whether it may be reading the Word daily, studying scripture in order to understand the context in which the moment occurred or even going to Church on Sunday, we generally cannot be bothered. And if we can, it takes a whole lot of effort.
Scrolling through Twitter is easy and people watching on Facebook is
self-harm interesting but reading the Word is tough because it requires more from us. It requires self-evaluation and introspection; it requires us to change as a result, to be humbled and reminded that we are finite beings. It shows us that there is a right way to live, that all truths and lifestyles are not acceptable and that there is a God above, full of love and compassion but also intolerant of sin. It’s hard. Reading the Word is hard. But it also necessary and our greatest investment in ourselves. I have never finished reading my Bible or spent time with God and felt empty afterwards. The feeling of satisfaction and hope that I experience after reading the Word makes me wonder why I don’t read it more often and why I don’t approach it with greater exuberance and rigour. But those are questions to be answered in another post.
For now, be encouraged. If you spend more time scrolling than you do praying, you are not alone. If you’re finding it difficult to delve into your Word and dedicate adequate time to it, once again, you are not alone. But there is more that is required from us. We do not throw in the towel and accept our current position. Instead, let us seek Him first; before opening Whatsapp as our eyes open each day, let’s commit to reading our Word and finding out what He has to say.
Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light for my path.
All my love,