[Editor’s note: This is a guest blog by Maria Drayton. Maria is an amazing devotional writer, and I love how she tied in this message of thankfulness (’tis the season!) to this post on social media comparisons. An important message around this time of year, I think. Social media definitely has its place (as a military wife, it’s the best way I can keep in touch with long-distance family and friends!) but this is an important reminder to enjoy your time with family and friends! Be content. Thanks, Maria!]
Contentment vs Comparison on Social Media
It only took 2 minutes this time.
The time for me to tap the app, watch it open and scroll through the posts of others for me to become annoyed. Annoyed and some-what jealous of what I saw. Jealous of what I thought I saw in the pictures posted: selfies taken, events promoted, people partying, trips taken, awards won, houses bought, etc. Immediately I closed the app. What did I expect to see? Why did opening that app make me feel the way I did? Maybe that’s why I hadn’t been on social media a lot lately. Social media is a trap. At least for me it is. Nowadays, I find myself posting and getting off immediately. I am even guilty of posting the exact thing I always find on it.
One year, I posted so much and counted the “likes” so often that my acceptance was becoming dependent upon those “likes.” Why does social media create a need for acceptance? Inherently, we all have a need to be accepted and social media is a platform where you can create your own reality whether it is true or not. Social media allows us to hide without regard for accountability but with our need for acceptance closely in tow.
Have I changed? I’m not sure. Maybe my interest has changed. I’m no longer interested to see what people choose to promote in their lives. In the recent weeks, when I did attempt to go on a social media site there was just nothing of substance. Sure, looking into others’ lives you feel as if you are in “the loop” and are “socially aware.” But there’s something that also happens when you tap into others’ lives, events and dreams. At least for me it did, I began to compare my life with what I saw. Truth be told, most of what is posted on social media isn’t even real. It’s the façade. It’s what people want you to see. It’s what people want you to read. It’s what people want you to know. It’s not the WHOLE truth. But even with knowing that, it didn’t stop the feeling I felt when I opened that app. Which led me to a scripture which reminded me, “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands. (1 Thessalonians 4:11)
Before I opened it, I was thankful for what I had. Thankful for where I was. Thankful for my blessings. After opening the app; I was questioning where I was, what I still needed to do, and what I didn’t have. But therein lies the problem. The Bible tells us,
“Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.” (Galatians 6:4-6)
Keeping this thought at the forefront of my mind and heart is where I choose to focus my eyes. I really want to delete all social media entirely, but I find it useful for family connection, birthdays and opportunities. But the days are gone that I will scroll through perusing others’ posts. I am content. I am thankful.
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (Philippians 4:12)
Maria Drayton: originally from Seattle, Washington she is a graduate of Washington State University and has a degree in Communications with an emphasis in Journalism. Maria has traveled all over the United States but currently resides in Deptford, New Jersey with her husband and son. With a passion for the Lord, she has been serving and walking with Him since the early 90’s and desires to bring a young, fresh, new look into intimacy with God. Since 2001, she attends Bethel Deliverance International Church and desires to begin a women’s ministry for young women to learn to apply God’s word in our daily lives. Follow Maria’s new women’s group S.P.A.R.K.L.E. on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sparklewomen/
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