I’ve been scrolling through Instagram a lot more lately. In the thick of the circuit breaker, it’s almost become a reflex to check what others have been up to. I’m clocking a staggering average of 2 hours in the app daily.
And as I look over all the sweaty post-workout pictures and “thank you for the surprise delivery” posts, I can’t help but compare my circuit breaker experience with the ones I see online.
On one hand, I have a sense of comfort and assurance that I’m not alone in my circuit breaker experience. It’s also pretty nice to have a window into the outside world since the world often seems to be as big as my home right now.
But on the other hand, it’s made me want to up my own circuit breaker game. I feel like I need to have something to show for at the end of the day, almost as if there’s this unsaid expectation that our time during the circuit breaker has to be productive.
Not to say that people shouldn’t make the most of their time during the circuit breaker. I’m more concerned about whether I have a heart of comparison, because it’s striving and competition that we need to be wary of.
DON’T DO IT FOR THE GRAM
I like posting on Instagram because I enjoy sharing my new circuit breaker experiences, like how I tried cooking for the first time.
I also like it when people commend and compliment me for my accomplishments.
But my posting habits have now reached a point where I have to ask myself why I am even posting and if I am just doing it for the attention.
So for one whole week, I didn’t post anything on Instagram at all.
Honestly, it was tough. I saw how anxious and unsettled it made me feel when my accomplishments weren’t made known, and that was a red flag about the condition of my heart.
But by the end of the week, I learnt how to be content with my life having no audience. The joy of accomplishing something was enough and I realised I didn’t need the platform for applause.
So I won’t rely on the praises and likes of man for affirmation.
Even if no one knows about that great Zoom meeting I had or that delivery I sent, I can rest knowing there is a great Creator who knows everything about me.
PICTURE PERFECT PITFALLS
Much of my feed consists of pretty flat-lays, aesthetic colour schemes and good lighting.
There’s nothing wrong with creating and posting beautiful images. But we can always be more mindful about its impact and influence.
We can create the most appetising meal, plate it gorgeously, slap a filter on and post it. But if we’re being real, can we ask ourselves one question?
Do our posts lead others to feel jealous and discontented?
I saw how anxious I felt when my accomplishments weren’t made known – a red flag about the condition of my heart.
Curating a picture-perfect circuit breaker can tempt others to feel that theirs have to be just as perfect, if not more.
Are we encouraging people to chase unrealistic expectations when we can point them to better things in this season instead?
We need to remember that our posts have influence. Just as we stumble and compare ourselves to the snapshots of a perfect brunch delivery or virtual date night, the things we post can also lead others to feel the same.
We have a choice. We can either perpetuate these picture-perfect images, or we can be salt and light over social media. Romans 12:2 reminds us: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Let us allow God to be the only picture of perfection we perpetuate. Rather than chasing after images and conforming our feed to be as impressive as the influencers of the world, let’s choose the better thing and point people to that which is truly noble and worthwhile.
SOCIAL MEDIA, DO I NEED YA?
If you find your circuit breaker revolving around this need to constantly be busy, impress others and fill your social media feed… Perhaps it’s time to take a step back.
We need to protect ourselves from falling into a spiral of comparison, competition and striving.
To do so, first, we should guard our eyes to protect our hearts (Matthew 6:22-23). Look through your feed and unfollow the users who stir up comparisons and competition. You can also limit your daily usage by setting a reminder to let you know how much time you’ve spent on Instagram.
Secondly, we can guard the hearts of our followers. Take a minute to really reflect on how your own posts have been impacting and influencing those around you. We can shift the focus of our posts from ourselves to ones that benefit, edify and point others to Christ.
I’m reminded of Philippians 2:3-4: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
Social media can be a useful platform, but if I’m honest with myself, it’s definitely been more of a distraction than anything else.
So as the circuit breaker comes to a close, let’s be reminded to be unafraid of portraying our circuit breaker experiences as they really are.
We can choose to use our voice and presence online for God’s glory and the benefit of our neighbours.
THINK + TALK
- What were your last 3 social media posts?
- Were they of benefit to others? Did they edify or demonstrate the love of Christ?
- What is one practical way we can ensure our engagement with social media is a help and not a hindrance to walking with God?