My husband hates musicals. He says it’s totally unnatural for people in them to just be walking along and suddenly break out in song.
Social media is kind of like musicals.
There is an element about it that is almost unnatural. We blurt out things, spontaneously share photos, stop in the middle of dinner to take photos of our meal and are raising a generation of children who assume that every single thing they do or say will be shared with hundreds of other people.
Nowadays, what would normally be a quiet remark in a one-on-one or even in a group setting is projected for everyone to hear. Social media is the equivalent of our thoughts being blasted through a megaphone.
So is social media to blame for the craziness we are witnessing these days or are WE to blame?
I think the answer to both of those questions is…YES! You see, the reality is that social media isn’t going anywhere. Oh sure, we can choose to not participate but most of us at one time or another will have some form of engagement on social media.
And, as in most relationships in life (and whether you realize it or not you do have a relationship with social media), we have to get to the point where we realize that while we can’t control what it says to us, we can control how we respond to it.
One of the ways we can do this is by understanding that everything we see and hear/read is being filtered through our own personal worldview. Just what is a worldview? Well, here’s a good explanation of it. You may have to read it a couple times but I promise it’s worth it!
“A worldview is the framework from which we view reality and make sense of life and the world. “[It’s] any ideology, philosophy, theology, movement or religion that provides an overarching approach to understanding God, the world and man’s relations to God and the world,” says David Noebel, author of Understanding the Times. For example, a 2-year-old believes he’s the center of his world, a secular humanist believes that the material world is all that exists, and a Buddhist believes he can be liberated from suffering by self-purification. Someone with a biblical worldview believes his primary reason for existence is to love and serve God. Whether conscious or subconscious, every person has some type of worldview. A personal worldview is a combination of all you believe to be true, and what you believe becomes the driving force behind every emotion, decision and action. Therefore, it affects your response to every area of life: from philosophy to science, theology and anthropology to economics, law, politics, art and social order — everything. For example, let’s suppose you have bought the idea that beauty is in the eye of the beholder (secular relative truth) as opposed to beauty as defined by God’s purity and creativity (absolute truth). Then any art piece, no matter how vulgar or abstract, would be considered “art,” a creation of beauty.”
Think of it this way, your worldview is like eye-glasses. We’ve all heard the phrase ‘rose-colored glasses’. Well, your worldview is what tints your glasses. It’s a filter through which everything you read on social media (and in all of life frankly!) is processed through.
But, if we are maturing in our faith in Jesus Christ, our filter, our worldview, should become increasingly more and more HIS view. We should begin to process things through glasses which are tinted by His love and grace.
“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to it’s level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” Romans 12:2 (The Message)
As we grow in our faith there should be evidence in every area of our life, including social media, of our increasing spiritual maturity.
The beauty of the #bethelightchallenge is the realization that it all begins with us. And, I thought I would put together a little acronym that I believe can truly help us impact our circles of influence on social media if we would just do this every single time we get ready to post something.
We want YOU to join the #bethelightchallenge too! A Facebook group has been started where we can all encourage and support each other on this journey and we would LOVE to have you join us there.
In addition, each blogger participating in this kick-off week not only has shared from her heart about how they are being challenged to impact social media but they also have a special take-away for you. I encourage you to visit each one.
Salvage Sister and Mister
Blessed Lonestar Mess
Real Girl’s Realm
Here are some questions you can be asking yourself as you are on this journey to be the light:
- After spending time on social media do you find that you feel better about yourself, worse about yourself or not affected at all?
- How does your worldview impact how you feel about what you see on social media?
- How do you think God wants us to approach social media
As a little bonus today and to hopefully bring you more encouragement, I’m giving away a copy of our book ‘Life in Season’.
To enter to win, simply leave a comment answering one of the above questions.
Now, sweet friends, go and be the light!
Meghan Wilmot says
1. Social media often makes me and my children feel worse . The hardest part of raising my children in this social media driven society is teaching them that the world they witness on Instagram is not real. Their fear of missing out on what appears to be the best of everything is a difficult lesson to teach . Taking breaks from electronics / social media and allowing them to enjoy the present moment is something they need to do. Many teens need to realize they are enough . They don’t need the approval from Instagram followers to be happy.
I love your reminder that our worldview should be His worldview! We should be growing closer to Christ, becoming more like Christ, & having our worldview become more and more His worldview. This is something I’ve been reminded of a lot the last couple weeks, & your post has articulated just what I needed to read!
In response to your first question, I find that how I feel after social media depends upon my interactions and purpose. When I’m seeing and engaging with posts from friends or colleagues that build our relationships and community, I come away refreshed and grateful. When I’m seeing or interacting with posts that are negative, divisive, or more like commercials, I’m more likely to leave frustrated. I notice the latter especially when I’m wandering on social media because I’m bored, & not with the purpose to connect or share with others.
Maybe our intention & purpose play a role, too? Or maybe when I’m intentional in my use of social media I’m also more intentional in conforming my worldview and actions to Christ.
Thank you for this reflection!
Kirstin Troyer says
This was such a great post. I totally agree that we all look through different lenses. I just did a post on thankfulness and gratitude and talked about the lenses which we look through. I loved your explanation. I feel like I can leave social media and not feel much different about myself…however there are certainly times I find myself “lacking”, usually though it’s because of the frame of mind I’m in at the time. I can see how young mothers can leave SM feeling worse about themselves because it’s seems like there is so much competition and pressure. Often not intentional, but we just can’t help but compare ourselves to others.
Julie K says
Vanessa, so true and relevant. I wish every teen could read this post. So many hurt feelings over an impulsive post. Social media just shouldn’t have this power.
Such a great post. So thankful you were able to participate! What a blessing for someone to win the book!
SheilaG- Plum Doodles says
I love that acronym, Vanessa. The last one especially- there are times I’ve regretted putting something on facebook because I didn’t take the time to pray first. It is so easy to get caught up in the drama and feel an urgency to defend someone or some view, which can sometimes just make things worse. God can use social media for His glory and to spread Truth, but we have to be submitted vessels. <3
Diane | An Extraordinary Day says
Romans 12:12 is a great verse to keep in the back of our minds… as is S.T.O.P. What if we all really did take a second to stop before we started taping into our devices? It’s amazing how much influence we can have on another’s day or outlook. Thanks for sharing your insights and wisdom Vanessa.
I can get discouraged by posts by people who have a different worldview than I do. Sometimes it’s best to walk away but other times it is worth working it through, as happened to me this fall. I wept for days and prayed diligently. The approach came from the other person.
If I begin to feel overwhelmed say by my inbox, I will simply delete everything not worthy of closer attention. I had a rude comment from a blogger that I had not opened her blog. Just deleted it. I did write back that I’d been sick with two bouts of flu back to back and then a close family member became seriously ill. I had to delete everything. I was so sick.
I live in isolation. I really do not quite get story lines. I kind of half get everything I watch on TV but Mr Ed. So my world of injury leads me down a different path than your normal reader
Wow, this is food for thought. Honestly, spending time on social media usually makes me feel worse for many reasons….people arguing, me feeling like an inadequate parent, or longing for a house that looks like it should be on the cover of a magazine. I think we fall into the comparison trap when we look at all the pretty pictures on social media, not realizing that it does not show the whole picture. Thank you for a wonderful post and the giveaway.
Mary Robinson says
Great suggestions for deciding what to post and what to respond to. Reading social media does not influence how I see myself and my life.
I usually geel indifferent and honestly try to stay away from it. It is a waste ilof rime in my opinion. But…when and if I do post, I try to make it uplifting. That is what He would do isn’t it? Thank you for your offer and the great challenge.
Social ME-dia. The abuse of this communication tool causes selfishness, suffering, and impatience. There are many who use it to promote good, which is why I believe God aided the creation of this technology, but there are also too many who do not know how to (or care to) exercise self control and would use this tool to deceive, injure, or distract from good. We need to learn discipline and prudence. Imagine the power we all could achieve to lift people to their greatest potential if we all would deliberately use these tools for the good of mankind and to show love one to another! We all need to talk, type, or tweet less and go and DO more to build each other up.
Love your blog. So inspirational. Thank you.
Laurie T says
This past week has been hard to be on FB so I’ve stayed away. There was so much anger and hatred it was bringing me down. Typically I try not to let it affect me but after the election I was questioning my beliefs and the person I voted for. I had to pull back and hit my Pandora Praise and Worship music to fill me back up and get me centered on Jesus. I love your acronym and will share it with my adult children who post quite a bit on FB.
Thanks for the opportunity to win your book! I love decorating books and have loved your blog for a long time. Blessings to you!