Consuming Social Media in a Positive Way
It’s been six years since Michael and I moved abroad, and I'm so grateful for social media. It helps us stay connected with family and friends all over the world, which has been a blessing. We feel so close, even when we’re in another country.
But sometimes when I scroll through my newsfeed, I’m flooded with information that can bring a myriad of emotion. From joy and love to envy and anger. Yikes!
So how can I consume social media in a positive and mindful way?
1. Set phone boundaries.
Decide on some specific times during your day when you will avoid checking your phone. Dinner time is an easy place to start. Then try to put your phone away during other mealtimes. Once you’ve mastered that try other moments like car rides, time in a waiting room, quality time with friends etc. Look up. This will help cut down on social media, and help you focus on real life social time.
2. Prep before you scroll.
Consider how each time you look at social media, you will be letting in a TON of information! The good, the bad and the ugly (used here as the southern term for unkind.) And we scroll so quickly, our emotions barely have time to catch up. What happens when you read someone’s political post, followed by an engagement announcement, then you see someone’s tribute to their loved one who just passed, and then 10 random posts that have nothing to do with you. So. Much. Info.
Before you scroll, make a note that you’re going to get a lot of information, and while it’s usually interesting, it might cause a lot of emotions. You might decide to not pick up your phone in that moment and wait until later.
3. Guard your body image.
Better yet, pray to see yourself the way God sees you. Because you’re gorgeous! When we were younger, we were taught magazine covers were photoshopped. We were told to not compare ourselves to those models because it wasn’t real. But then photo sharing came along, and technology that makes it easy for us to look our best in every post we share. We see tons of images of friends, celebrities, social media influencers that have probably all been edited and filtered.
Remember film cameras? When dad took that picture on the family vacation, and your eyes were closed, tough luck. It’s going in the picture frame anyway. Without a filter. Now we can take a photo ten times, edit it for whiter teeth, thinner arms and brighter skin. We can add a filter to make sure we look our best. Guilty-I go for the ones that make me look tan and blonde! HA!
The point is, put those images in context, and remember you're beautiful.
4. Remember posts rarely tell the whole story.
Steven Furtick says, “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” Isn’t that so true? We see someone’s posts and make assumptions about how wonderful their life must be. But it’s not the whole story. Instead of taking a post personal and allow feelings of envy and bitterness, we should remember everyone is on their own journey, living life in the best way they know how. Instead choose to.......
5. Encourage one another!
If we want to consume social media in a positive way we need to start building each other up! As women we should support one another in our walks. These real life updates are great opportunities for specific prayers for your friends. “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
I’m still working to improve my social media habits, but I think being aware of our habits is a great place to start!