I have wondered so many times how many seconds, minutes, and ultimately hours I spend each day on this?
When I log on to social media, I am anticipating a little red flag or notification to see if anyone approved of my witty comment, adorable photo, or the clever tweet. Am I really that desperate for affirmation?
The research I have read about the impact all these notifications have on the brain goes a little something like this. When we receive a positive response to something we have posted (some kind of notification), the brain releases a little dopamine shot that causes a physical response in our body. Dopamine shots can become addictive.
So we are basically click-addicted and on a dopamine high as we repeatedly check social media.
The result…constant checking of the phone, or the iPad, or the computer for a another fix. Yes, it is classic Pavlov’s dog.
And just like any other addiction, it will take more and more of the stimulus to get the same response. Now that has big implications for the future! The behavior of constantly checking our devices will increase if we do not exercise self control.
If you are like me, you may have even found yourself on your phone and another device at the same time! Now is the dog wagging the tail or the tail wagging the dog?
If you know me at all, you know I try to see all situations through the lens of Scripture. Hmm…no mention of Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram in Holy Writ. But that is the beautiful thing about the Bible. It contains timeless principles which can be applied in any time period.
First, to the click addiction of affirmative notifications. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:9 “Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.” Pleasing Christ is a much worthier activity than counting clicks or likes.
Second, to the time wasted checking statuses. Again, Paul sheds wisdom, “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16.
Finally, to being controlled by something external. This is huge my friends! The Bible repeatedly warns about idol worship. It was and still is a BIG deal to God. There are multiple verses I could insert here, but I am going to stick with Paul. He spoke these words as he walked the streets of Athens and observed their pantheon of little “g” gods.
“Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man.” Acts 17:29
Whoa…is anyone else being convicted right now? The Divine Nature of God is not made with…an image formed by the art and thought of man. There is the timeless principle. Even though social media and technology is not in the Bible, it certainly was thought of by man. And if we are controlled by it, then it is a little “g” god to us.
So God is nudging me a bit to do something in obedience. He is nudging me to only check social media a few times a day instead of multiple times a day. Believe me, I think there is great value in spreading the gospel and helping people with the Christian walk through this powerful medium. So I am not called to a fast from it…just some self control of it.
If you have felt a similar conviction or nudging, would you join me? I’d love your support and your conversation as we seek to be obedient.
What are your social media struggles? I’d love to chat with you! Now excuse me while I go publish this post to FB and Twitter – :)!