How our social media addictions are breeding a ‘Fear Of Missing Out’.
If you have a tendency to look at Facebook first thing in the morning or if you upload a picture onto Instagram or Flickr and have to keep checking to see how many ‘likes’ you get then you need this.
There are many things that are so great about social media, we get to share something instantly with a friend or family member, we can even find people across the globe that we haven’t seen in years! We can also check up on what people are up to and into, where they’re from… we can even cyber stalk someone if we want (without them knowing I hear – although that perhaps is not such a good thing!).
We can set up pages on good causes and raise awareness; we can invite people to our parties and show pictures of what we’ve been up to. We can connect with businesses that might be similar to ours with the view to getting more work or a new job. They sound like pretty good reason to allow social media into your life.
We all know there are some bad sides to it to though don’t we?!
We’ve perhaps been on the sharp end of someone’s cutting remarks (if they had the bottle to tell us that the comments were aimed at us) or been a victim of cyberbullying and, we’ve seen in the news through the suicides of young people that words are powerful – regardless of whether they are printed or said out loud.
I want to suggest to you that checking our social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like) is becoming an addiction and it should be taken seriously, just like any other.
There’s a bit of a lie going round that these sites and apps help you to connect but, if I’m honest, the jury is out for me. It’s possible that they help you to communicate but… connecting… that takes a little more effort.
But a bigger problem might be that it is breeding insecurity – if someone doesn’t like your page or your photo or ‘like’ you within seconds of you posting a comment or a picture how does it affect you?
There are some suggestions out there that F.O.M.O is actually breeding insecurity in people. That we feel ‘un-liked’ or …unloved perhaps if someone doesn’t respond within the time frame we think they should. This time element has become a weapon that can sometimes impact the way we feel about ourselves and the way that we feel about others. They could have fallen down a manhole or be spending a romantic evening with their loved one – they might even just want a break from the jolly phone blipping or pinging every 2 minutes!!
So how does it impact you? If you have to check your phone every 2 minutes for fear of missing out or if you get the hump with someone for not responding quick enough, if you get on a downer with yourself I want to suggest that you try and sort it out!
It might seem silly to pray about our use of social media but we have to recognise that the thief came to steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10) and there is no better way to keep you off course than to have you glued to your phone every 2 minutes (perhaps less than that if you are under 15).
It will impact your relationships, rather than waiting for someone to like your photo, why not give them a call and ask them how they are doing too.
The Bible says that ‘Perfect love casts out all fear’ (1 John 4:18) while you are looking at your phone you might actually be missing something wonderful that is going on right in front of your nose.
Think it over!
If you had to do without your phone for even an hour, would you struggle?
If you know you would, why not try and do something about it. Who knows what else you are missing?