Have you ever felt bad about yourself after browsing Facebook? I have. I remember feeling disappointed and sorry for myself. I yearned to enjoy what others enjoyed and since I couldn’t, I wondered if I could at least be a part of it. When we are honest and real with ourselves we can admit that logging into Facebook these days can be quite a downer. Someone recently said to me the things displayed on her home page are enough to make her feel insecure and unhappy; she is reminded of what she doesn’t have, what she wishes she had and how long it will take for her to get there.
“People who brag about arriving home from gym, what they had for lunch or the awesome things they’ve done are so insensitive and do not realize that there are people out there who do not have what they have.”
She explained how awful this makes her feel, especially since she does not have. Social media has consumed our lives and has changed the way things are done; we now cyber-covet, cyber-compare, cyber-compete, cyber-criticize and studies show that the more people checked Facebook the worse they felt about their lives. A recent Glamour Magazine (madamenoire.com) report revealed that 54% of women are unhappy about themselves because of social media. To support this notion, a study by The University of Michigan (edition.cnn.com) explained:
“On the surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling the basic human need for social connection. But rather than enhancing well-being, our findings demonstrate that interacting with Facebook may have the opposite result for young adults.”
I am not advocating that posting about achievements, dishes you’ve tried or places you’ve been to are all petty and inconsiderate, I too like to share a few things every now and then. I am saying that the emergence of social media has become a stumbling block to those who are not grounded in the truth. In other words, when we drift away from God’s truth we create a gap and we consciously choose what to fill that gap with (comparison, competition, criticism, coveting). When there is a gap, almost anything can make us feel inadequate, even social media especially considering the amount of time we spend using it. There were days when I constantly had to remind myself that God loves me, He looks at me and sees my brokenness and He accepts me. I believe a lot of us can admit that there are days when we still need reminding. We often put so much pressure on ourselves to be seen as important and successful that we lose sight of we are. If this is you, here are some tips that might help: Remember who you are. Genesis 1:27 says we were “created in the image (likeness) of God”. Psalm 139:14 says “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” KNOW it! Do a self-check. Spending less time on social media does not guarantee that you will begin to feel a whole lot better about yourself, the issue runs deeper. Get to the root of the matter and do introspection. If you think taking a break will assist you in some way by all means, take a break. Just remember this option cannot be considered a cure. Be honest with yourself. Most people believe that if you tell yourself “I am perfect, magnificent, sexy, etc” it would cancel the negativity and improve the way you feel about yourself. Truth is, we’re not perfect and to consider yourself magnificent?! The sooner you come to terms with who you truly are, the sooner you can start doing something about it. Focus on Him who is perfect. Fix your eyes on Jesus and forget about yourself. The reason we often feel the way we do is because we are too concerned about self. When you turn your eyes upon Jesus you forget about yourself, you learn to see things the way He would and you learn how to deal with the desires of the flesh. Be encouraged.