Has 2020 had you feeling all the ups and downs? I hate to sound cliche' but this thing is NO JOKE. So let me first start by validating all the feels. Whether you are feeling frustrated, disappointed, angry, sad or lonely--it's legit. These feelings just don't deserve the power to dictate your perspective or determine your future.
Of course the current state of our society, the isolation from true connection, the reality of so much loss and palpable grief in our nation can taint our perspective and dull our expectation. But that said, I've noticed what is often the biggest interference of my hope. SOCIAL MEDIA. When I fix my mind on things above, I can buckle up and endure the ride. When I allow my thumb to keep on swiping and my mind to troll the thoughts of every American, my heart begins to sink.
Three ways social media is interfering with the REAL YOU.
It interferes with the facts.
Social media has interfered with my ability to find the facts, see the truth and think independently. This is not about educating myself. But let’s be honest, social media is a terrible news source. If I’ve devolved to get my understanding of where we are at with the Coronavirus by a meme from someone sitting in their kitchen eating their cheerios on the other side of the country, I might need to pause. Social media encourages groups of people connected to each other online to share similar ideas and beliefs. Psychiatrists have said, “Basic human psychology suggests that people have a tendency to conform to their ‘group’ so that they can fit in and be well-liked. Over time, the values and beliefs shared by a group become more similar.” You can likely see this phenomenon at work in political posts or even in parent groups. One doctor adds that this “groupthink” not only squashes original thought, but can even be dangerous in some cases when the desire for conformity results in exaggerated or irrational decision-making. So I’m taking my cues from the mental MD on this one. And I’ve got to limit the amount of video snippets, political memes and regulation updates from my friends on here. Many of you are actually just best showing off your outfit of the day while in quarantine. Some of you help me make a killer protein and vegetable recipe so I can continue my healthy lifestyle. And a lot of you have encouraged me in parenting my teens in distance learning. I’m sticking with letting social media inform me in the great ways it always has. I’ll get my facts from sources outside of FACEBOOK and Instagram stories for now.
It interferes with my real-life relationships.
If anyone understands the obstacles of connecting in real-life relationships, it’s me. I am in San Diego, California where most of us have been in isolation since March 13. With four kids all distance learning and both my husband and I working from home, I have been amazed how many straight days we have gone without leaving our home. And I hate it. In fact as I type tears are streaming down my face. I am wired as an extreme extrovert. My calling, my actual purpose in life is to CONNECT people to God and each other. I use social media as a tool to reach people as my business. I make a living going online and cultivating conversations then connecting people to a solution for the problems. The electronic social space is my jam. However, I am finding myself muting people I actually like in real-life. The internet has always turned up the volume on a person’s boldness to type words while hiding behind a screen. But the COVID situation has really made it LOUD. I am not suggesting others not share their opinions and views. We all have the right to advocate for the things that matter most to us. I’ve just made the choice to mute that sound for now. The amount of political opinion and uninformed facts about the mandates, the virus, the government and your neighbor has my head hurting. And while it’s been enlightening to see what some of you actually think, I don’t want your fear, frustration and irrationalization to ruin my desire to be your friend.
It interferes with my spirit.
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:2-3
The Greek word used for “set” in this verse, means “to seek after, strive for, be intent on.”
To “set your minds on things above” is to:
Look at life from God’s perspective
And to seek after what He desires
Seeking to find a post in my feed that helps me to see my life in an eternal perspective or matching up with the hope filled desires and life God promises is difficult to say the least. I’m not saying social media is void of any good. More that, our current culture is creating more content that can cause my mind to spin about the things of this world than enables my spirit to soar. I’m just recognizing my need to place my full affection, thinking, focus, and attention on heavenly things. Things above, rather than what currently encompasses our world.
“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ” reminds us that our desires for the things of the world should be about as much as a person who has already died. None. Our lives are hidden, kept safe, concealed under the authority and covering of Gods’ sheltering care. So I am going to continue to shut out the darkness and shine BRIGHT the LIGHT.