Is Social Media Stealing Our Lives?

I’m going to go a different route today with my writing because I have been having something weighing heavily upon my heart and I want to see if I am the only one who feels this way.  

We all have seen the benefits of social media and I am sure we all use it everyday to stay connected with people. Everywhere you look you find people looking at their phones and checking on status updates.  Just this morning, I was dropping my son off at school and I noticed the man behind me snapping a picture of him and his son and posting it right to Facebook.  You can’t even have a full conversation with somebody without them checking their phones. I began to get very irritated when I noticed how consumed we are to a “fantasy world.”   There is a side of social media that I began to see that I don’t like at all.  I’m not saying that social media is bad, and I’m not saying that I won’t use social media; however, I began to get convicted of the amount of time I spent on social media.  

I found myself glued to some type of computer device.  I had access to social media on my computer, my tablet, and my phone.  It went with me everywhere—-to the resteraunts, the stores, visiting relatives, my children’s sporting events, and dates with my wonderful husband.  If I posted a comment, I had to check to see how many likes or shares it had.  And if there weren’t many likes, I would get upset because nobody must like me.  Now come on, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has thought this way.  If we are not careful, we can begin a downward spiral of depression because we are too busy comparing our lives to the lives of others.  When will we learn that not very many people are going to post the negative aspects of their lives?  Most people aren’t that candid or real.  I do have a few friends on Facebook who are real and I appreciate them so much.  Nothing is hidden, and I love that about them.  

When I began to realize what social media was doing to me, I began to feel convicted and ashamed.  I was ashamed because I realized that I was forgetting to live in the here and now and forgetting to enjoy the beauty all around me.  I noticed that chores were not being done as thoroughly as they should be.  I noticed more anxiety because I was just sitting there not doing anything.  I noticed the missed hockey goal, or the race being won because I was on Facebook posting how well the kids were doing.  I noticed the missed conversations with my husband because we were too busy checking our accounts.  And I noticed the spiritual hunger rising up within me bacause I was more concerned about what my “friends” were doing rather than what my God was doing.  The bible studies became shorter, and the prayers became shorter…. all because of my obsession with social media.  The music in my heart was gone. I didn’t play my piano as much and the songs stopped being written all  because I was spending too much time on the computer.  I had to get something done.  What would have happened if I would have continued spiralling down this road?  I’m afraid to see.  

I began to wonder what our society would be like if we reached for our Bibles as much as we reached for our phones.  Would things be different?  Would we be a nation that once again feared God?  I guess we will never know.  But I do know what I am going to do.  I have closed my Twitter account and my Instagram account.  I even took Facebook off of my phone.  It will be checked once in the morning and once in the evening.  I am no longer going to be so caught up in other people’s lives that I forget to live my own.  I am doing my Bible study before I check anything on the computer.  God will be first and foremost in my life.  I have chosen to give my family my full, undivided attention.  They will not suffer for todays technology.  Strangers will see my face, and not my head being bent down looking at my phone.  I have chosen to live.  

If you have seen a similar pattern in your own life, I encourage you to make changes now.  Don’t wait until it is too late.  Begin to live your life today in the here and now because you will not get these moments again.

 

Spring is Breaking Forth!

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We had a beautiful spring weekend up here in Western, PA.  As I was walking my dog the other day, I was amazed at all of the spring beauty that had been covered by the winter’s snow. Funny how the beauty was always there, I just was unable to see it because it was covered with snow for three months.  My 75 pound dog also showed his excitement of spring as he dragged me across each lawn to chase every bushy-taled squirrel that he could find.  If you ever saw the movie Marley and Me, you get the idea.

 

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As I was enjoying the outdoors, or at least trying to enjoy them between each dragging of the dog, I began to think about what spring means in my own life.  Spring is all about new birth, newness, and hope.  I don’t know about you, but I feel like I have been waiting for spring to break forth in my life for a long time.  I need that hope of newness and renewal in my life.  Isaiah 43:19 says:

“Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it?  I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

The suffering and pain and uncertainty that you have been going through is not in vain.  It has been a season that you have had to walk through.  But I believe God is wanting us to not lose hope.  Through all of the suffering, and with every tear that has been shed, our purpose is going to be birthed.

When you think about spring, you will notice that there is a struggle between the warm and cold temperatures.  Winter doesn’t want to let go very easily.  It is wonderfully warm one day, and snowing the next.  Discouragement sets in becasue you think spring should come easily.  But I want you to know that anything new in our lives does not come without a struggle.   Just as spring does not arrive without storms and tornadoes, so spring in our own lives does not occur without a time of travail.  A woman does not give birth without pain and travail.  The pain is always the greatest right before the birth.  If you are in the darkest pit and you are unable to see because of the storm raging around you,  just buckle up and hold on, because spring is coming. I saw the flower buds, I heard the birds singing, I felt the newness in the air and I know that spring is coming.  Ecclesiastes 3:1 says:

“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:  A time to be born, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep; and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain, and a time to lose; A time to keep and a time to throw away; A time to tear, and a time to sew; A time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; A time of war, and a time of peace.”

As you can see, there are different seasons that we each must go through in our lives.  Some are joyous, and some we would rather do without.  But we need to remember that it is a season to go through.  We are not going to stay in the season.  Seasons change and we must be willing to change and let God do His perfect work in us.  

Be encouraged and know that your season is changing, hope is rising, and spring is on its way.