Everyday Issues

Is Social Media Lying to Us?

November 22, 2017

Selfies at the beach. Photos with friends. Videos of hysterical laughter.

 

What do all of these things have in common?

 

They are all part of the social media pit that has swallowed our entire society.

 

We have been consumed by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, and a myriad of other social media sites and apps. And we have been consumed by the lies that they tell us.

 

Social media is a one-dimensional form of communication. It doesn’t reveal our dark thoughts, our lonely hearts, or our raw emotions. I can insert a smiley face when my heart is breaking. I can say “LOL” when I feel like screaming. I can post pictures of a fun vacation without mentioning that it ended in sunburn and tears.

 

We have lost our honesty and authenticity because many of the things we post on social media are based on a lie. They only reveal a tiny part of who we are.

 

In fact, social media mainly reveals who we wish we were.

 

 

We all want to appear like we have perfect lives because it boosts our confidence and gives us attention. And the people who post gorgeous selfies or the photos they took with dozens of friends, post them for the same reason. We share pictures, words, and emojis that seem perfectly happy; but, often times, we are far from it.

 

Unfortunately, Christians tend to do this too. We sometimes post seemingly perfect pictures and messages because we want to feel good about ourselves. It is part of our sin nature.

 

We claim that we use social media to provide entertainment or to connect with old friends or to read inspiring Bible verses that are posted, but we don’t expose the lonely, envious, and insecure thoughts we have after spending even five minutes in the pit of lies.

 

Believe me, I know what ugly thoughts come to mind as we scroll through pictures and posts.

 

I don’t feel happy for my best friend who writes about the incredible new guy she’s dating. I feel lonely and wonder why I can’t be in her shoes.

 

I’m not excited when I see pictures of my cousin’s gorgeous dress. I am jealous and dissatisfied with my old dress from the thrift store.

 

I’m not wowed by my classmate’s pretty selfies. I feel ugly and consider going on a diet to lose a few pounds.

 

I have found very few benefits of social media that outweigh the great cost of the insecurity it brings. It dissatisfies grateful people, stirs up loneliness, and crushes genuine joy. Is social media worth the negative feelings we have after using it?

 

Of course, I’m not anti-social media; but I am anti-insecurity, anti-jealousy, and anti-lies.

 

Friends, we have become jealous of lies—of happy faces that are secretly miserable and Photoshopped bodies that are truly overweight. We consume the lies like candy and wonder why we feel unsatisfied.

 

Don’t consume the lies anymore.

 

We can say no to them. We can delete our accounts, remove our apps, and fill our time with other things. Or we can choose to limit our time on social media so we can spend more of our time in the real world.

 

The choice to change your habits is completely up to you, but all of us absolutely need to strive for better things than taking flawless selfies.

 

“Now godliness with contentment is great gain.” –1 Timothy 6:6, NKJV

 

“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.” –Colossians 4:2, NASB

 

There is more to life than laughing emojis, Instagram pictures, and clever tweets. If we can learn to be godly, thankful, and devoted to God, we’ll be able to live in the realm of truth.

 

Posts and pictures don’t tell the whole story because they usually leave out the negative realities involved. We don’t have to be addicted to these half-truths. With prayer and perseverance, we can see the world through an unclouded perspective and let ourselves be who we truly are.

 


 

Grace M. – Column: Everyday Issues
Grace M. is a college student, a writer, and a piano-player. She enjoys spending time with her family, baking, playing volleyball, and eating sour gummy worms. She blogs about the Christian walk at https://tizziestidbits.wordpress.com.

 

 

12

Comments

  1. Tim Utekal

    November 28, 2017 at 9:36 pm Reply

    You bring up a lot of good points. Social media isn’t inherently evil, but it makes many of our natural inclinations obvious. While we always do our best to appear happy and secure in our interactions with others, social media gives us the opportunity to hide behind a screen and delete what we’ve posted. It gives us a clearer picture of what we wish we were.

    1. Grace

      December 1, 2017 at 7:47 am Reply

      Thank you, Tim! You sum it up well. 🙂

  2. Audrey

    November 29, 2017 at 12:42 pm Reply

    Hi Grace!
    Audrey here from the Young Writer’s Workshop. Excellent article! I feel much the same way. Last December I deleted my Instagram account and haven’t looked back. Social media really does arouse jealousy for me, especially in the areas of body image and dating relationships. Thank you for the reminder that the picture perfect images posted are often lies.
    I especially love this point from your article, “Social media is a one-dimensional form of communication. It doesn’t reveal our dark thoughts, our lonely hearts, or our raw emotions.” I definitely believe that we should strive to be open and genuine in our communication, and social media rarely encourages this.
    Again, great article!
    Audrey

    1. Grace

      December 1, 2017 at 7:49 am Reply

      I appreciate your honesty, Audrey. It’s so easy to get entangled in jealousy by using social media, but we’re often jealous of things that aren’t even real.

      Thanks for reading! 🙂

  3. Rachel

    November 29, 2017 at 7:19 pm Reply

    Good points, Grace. Social media provides an all-too easy way to pretend we have our lives together, doesn’t it? I get caught up in that too much.
    I do want to point out, though, that while I always prefer face-to-face interaction, I’ve found community online in my actual insecurities and shortcomings — not an organized community, but rather, people all over the place (including myself) who find the amazing potential social media offers for true honesty and love. Social media does tend to encourage narcissism, and in turn insecurity, that is true, but it also opens doors for vulnerability and honesty which counters that.
    However, I’ve found that it does take a lot of strength (strength we often don’t have in ourselves) to overcome the negative side effects of social media and be able to use social media in responsible, helpful ways.
    Blessings to you :]

    1. Grace

      December 1, 2017 at 7:53 am Reply

      Thorough and thoughtful comment, Rachel. You’re right–we don’t have the strength in ourselves to overcome social media’s negative side effects to use it responsibly. We have to get this strength from God. And yes, social media CAN be used for good sometimes. I didn’t mention this in the article, but it’s important to remember that ANYTHING can become sinful if we use it in a sinful way. For example, good things (like friendships or food, or service to others) can become sinful if we let that happen.
      Blessings to you also!

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