For Lent, I decided to “give up” all social media (facebook, twitter, etc) – reasons for which I lay out in this post:
1) I was becoming a people pleaser:
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10)
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. (Colossians 3:23)
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:1)
Simply put, the problem with social media is that we hunger for acceptance and validation from others. Whether it be people “favoriting” or RTing your tweets or people “liking” and commenting on your facebook posts, the danger of serving man and not God is explicit and ever-present in the world of social media . Like Jesus said, you cannot serve two masters, you must love one and hate the other. Therefore, in this context, I was quickly reaching a point where my motivation in tweeting certain things or posting certain things on facebook became blurred.
I’ll be honest. I’ve been waking up these days and my first jolt of excitement hasn’t been over the fact that I’ve woken up to another day that the Lord has made. In fact, my first and foremost excitement upon waking up was about checking all the RTs and facebook “likes” and comments that had accrued overnight. This was one way in which my heart’s worship was misdirected.
2) Too many voices kept crowding my head (Don’t worry, it’s not schizophrenia):
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (James 1:22)
A huge aspect of social media is that people are inundated with too many voices/opinions/worldviews – some that are constructive, a lot that are destructive. A huge ramification of this is that, often, all these voices crowd out the one voice that matters most – God’s. Sure, some may argue that social media strengthens one’s listening skills and broadens one’s perspective, but if these voices are that of man and not of God, then what sort of seeds are we planting in our hearts and minds? Listening is important, but if we’re listening to and doing the WRONG things instead of the WORD – we shoot ourselves in the foot and depart from God’s will for us. For my sanity and growth, I felt God calling me to step down from social media to get away from all the “noise” so that I could prioritize and seek greater sanctuary in the Spirit.
3) I began idolizing my own voice:
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak… (James 1:19)
God gave us two ears and only one mouth for a reason. And honestly, if all of us thought before speaking, this world would be a lot quieter place. If Reason #2 points out the dangers of listening to the wrong voices, this one relates to the dangers of valuing your own sinful, unfiltered voice. On a practical level, it’s dangerous to speak without thinking and maintaining perspective. However, even if you do listen and keep perspective, all our voices come from sinful hearts. The words that come out of our mouths aren’t things that weren’t already present in our hearts in the first place.
Don’t you feel that there is something profoundly selfish about the point of social media? At the core of it, social media is there for people to put in their two cents, get their word in and “express” themselves. But what is there about our words and hearts (on their own) that make us believe we have ANYTHING worth saying? At the end of the day, despite our good intentions, everything we have to offer (in words and actions) are filthy rags.
In my case, as I began to become a people pleaser (reason #1), one of the byproducts of this was idolizing my own voice. Instead of crediting people being blessed by what I shared/posted/tweeted to God, I credited myself. The more I began to buy into my own hype, the more I began to do things not for God’s pleasure, but for people’s approval. My life of worship and response was no longer God-centered, but was man-centered. Feeling the urgency to check my own heart, I believe Lent came at the perfect time. I’m excited for what God has to show me in the next 40 days.