Time Magazine recently came out with a website that will calculate exactly how much of your life you’ve wasted on Facebook. My result:
We’re literally wasting our lives away reading about other people’s journeys- and by doing so we’re missing out on the biggest adventure of our lives. God wants us to live without abandon, surrendering our entire lives to His mission… but do our lives reflect what we say our priorities are?
Social media isn’t evil, just like money isn’t evil. But just like Paul writes in 1 Timothy 6 about the love of money corrupting souls, I fear that social media is often used as a stealthy way to distract us from being truly relational with people. Instead of grabbing coffee to catch up on life, we just Facebook chat. And even worse, when we’re with real people, the whole table is often glued to their phones. What a far cry from the authentic relationships we see Jesus forming all over the New Testament!
As my embarrassing proof above shows, I’ve spent many days distracted from my true mission. I’ve often chosen playing mindless games and liking Instagram pictures instead of loving on the people around me. Many of us have missed countless opportunities to share the gospel and grow closer to family & friends- but today is a new day, and we have an opportunity to radically alter our lives.
Here’s 3 solid ways to revolutionize the way you use social media:
1. Get your priorities straight
I’m REALLY not a morning person. So when my alarm goes off, I immediately grab my phone and try to wake up enough to take a shower without using shaving cream as shampoo (…purely hypothetical). From emails to Facebook notifications, Instagram tags to that cute puppy video everyone’s sharing, I can easily spend the first 15 minutes of my day catching up on what happened in the world last night.
Lysa TerKeurst says that when we first wake up, we’re like a dry sponge: Ready to soak up whatever’s around us. Everything we do and every word we speak will be impacted by whatever saturated our mind that morning. So when we jump into social media instead of God’s Word, we’re setting ourselves up for failure! Make a change: Try reading your Bible- even just a Proverb or Psalm. Let God refresh your mind and transform your entire day!
2. Set limits
Surely I’m not the only one who has plopped down on the couch, mindlessly opened Facebook, and then realized I just wasted an hour on social media?! We all get 24 hours in a day, but what separates us is how we choose to use them. The people who change the world aren’t doing it by getting Flappy Bird high scores and taking loads of selfies. It’s not wrong to relax (as a former workaholic I’m the first to say that relaxing a little helps everything in your life get better!), but let’s get wise about how we relax. How about reading God’s word or spending time with family & friends?
I know it’s way harder than it sounds, so check out this awesome way to give up social media AND help people: The Unicef Tap Project
For every 10 minutes you don’t touch your phone, money will be donated to help the 768 MILLION people around the world without access to clean water. What a great way to stay accountable and put down your phone!
3. Be intentional
How many times have we aimlessly wasted the afternoon away scrolling through our news feed? We might read someone’s exciting status or see a photo of their talents, but how often do we actually reach out and celebrate with them? Since millions of people are on social media, it’s an incredible tool to reach out and share Jesus with people we don’t often see otherwise! Once our priorities are straight and we’re setting limits on our social media usage, here’s the final step: Be intentional online! Spend your time encouraging & engaging people who need to know Jesus’ love!
What are you doing to limit your social media and use it for good? Comment or tweet me @clarissasidhom and I might just post my favorites! :)
photo via Kenny Louie