Social media is tricky.
It can be discouraging or encouraging.
It can be a tool the enemy uses to brainwash and isolate us or one the Lord uses to bring us knowledge and community. It can destroy us or it can empower us.
It’s easy to look at this brief list and question how the same social media platform can bring two completely different outcomes.
For me, social media has been a battle for a long time. It’s been a place of comparison, discouragement, isolation and discontentment. It wasn’t until January 2018 that I put my foot down and made some drastic changes. This included unfollowing over 150 people from Instagram and logging off of Facebook for several months.
But God and I have chit-chatted about this topic several times, including my favorite church conference and during our trip to Hawaii, so I felt led to share some decisions I have made that have made my social media experience more enjoyable and actually benefitted my life.
1. I chose my favorite platform
There are a lot of choices out there, and I easily got overwhelmed by having an Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter + others to keep up with. So I decided to narrow it down to the one(s) I enjoyed the most – my “favorites.”
Instagram was an easy winner, but I decided to keep a Facebook account simply because of the huge network of people that use it. Basically, I post and get off. I am apart of a few groups that I enjoy but I typically just share my latest blog post link and use messenger to connect with people. I’ve learned that browsing my Newsfeed often brings frustration or discouragement, so I typically don’t scroll.
On Instagram, you’ll see that I only follow people that bring me joy, people I want to stay connected with and people who challenge me (in a good way) by their thoughts, pictures and / or lifestyle. I’m constantly decluttering my account – unapologetically unfollowing people – which has proven to be such a healthy discipline.
2. I asked God how He wanted me to use it
I can survive just fine without social media, and there have been plenty of times where I have considered throwing in the towel and ditching all of it. But a sweet lady I really enjoy following said this and it’s really stuck with me –
Social media is what you make it.
So if social media is what I make it, then I want to make my account a place of encouragement, fun, authenticity and thought-provoking relizations / ideas. I do not want it to be a place where people think my life is perfect, causing them to feel discouraged or compare their life to mine.
3. I got comfortable with my style
Honestly, I’m still working on this one, but it’s important to remember that everyone has their own style when it comes to posts and captions. Some people rock having a theme and others thrive with being a little more random.
Something that I heard in 2016 that has stuck with me is –
Not everyone likes the same flavor of ice cream.
Basically, the social world needs your unique thoughts, stories and perspective. Don’t try to copy what works well for someone else when you have your own gifitings that people love and will make you thrive in your own lane.
So which social media are you consuming? Are you taking in lies, comparison and belittlement or are you enjoying encouragement, thought-provoking ideas and fun?
Which social media are you giving? Are you bringing people down (intentionally or unintentionally) by portraying that your life is perfect or are you breathing life and authenticity into your followers?
I hope you feel challenged to examine your social life today and maybe narrow down your platforms, your presence, and maybe even your voice.