Today, I browsed through my “friends” on Facebook. You know what I realized? Out of the almost 350 friends I have, I only have relationship with about 30 of them. Isn’t that ridiculous?
I’m becoming more and more aware that social media is our enemy. And it’s an amazingly deceptive one at that. Here we are, posting photos on Instagram, following people on Twitter, liking everything in our newsfeed on Facebook, and yet…how many of the people who “favorite”, retweet, or “like” our photos are really friends?
Social media is our enemy – and here’s why:
- We are taught to post only the best photos and statuses, in an effort to attract the most attention.
- We train ourselves to want the lives others post about, because they have mastered number 1.
- Social media teaches us that the world revolves around us. We feel valued by how many people seem to care about what’s happening in our lives. We count the amount of likes, re-tweets, and favorites to see if we beat “friend” in number 2. When we find we haven’t, we resort back to number 1, feeling like we’ve failed.
- We sacrifice real relationships for the facade of real relationships. We’d rather be posting about our dinner and what we wore (while sitting at home, bored) than go out with REAL friends to dinner – who, will probably genuinely like our outfit without us needing to post about it!
- Social media teaches us to be self-centered, self-absorbed, and self-gratifying. Selfies anyone??
- It separates us from reality and the beautiful vulnerability that real, face-to-face relationships allow.
And yet, it’s addicting. Everyone can feel like a celebrity on social media – in its entirety. You can have the feeling of famous, you can post only the best photos, and you can talk about your life like it’s as wonderful as you dream it to be. And in the end, you’ll be alone and depressed, like most celebrities, because they don’t have any real relationships.
Thank you – but I’ll pass.
I’ve made the decision to let go of my deep desire to be “liked” on social media. I’d much rather have 5 CLOSE friends, than 350 people who deep down, really don’t care what I wore, ate, or where I went.
How about you? Are you tired of the facade we all try to keep up on social media? If so, then join the challenge. Deactivate your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Let’s do a 30-day detox of social media. Instead of focussing so many hours on being “affirmed”, let’s focus that time on real, life-giving friendships.
In 30 days, you might find people compliment what they like about you, without any prompting. You might have friends ask about how your day was, instead of you needing to post about it. And best of all, you’ll have saved all of that time you used to waste attempting to self-exalt and impress.
I look forward to moving toward a more purposeful, relational life.