Social media is a big part of our society. From great-grandparents to toddlers, people of every age have found a use for the internet. Thanks to the popularity of social media in our culture, we use apps for every aspect of our lives including entertainment, music, and news. The internet has easily become a part of our everyday lives. If not careful, social media has the power to consume and influence the people who use it. In the event that you feel the internet has taken over your life, it may be time to consider if social media has become an idol in your life.
In biblical days, people handcrafted idols out of gold and bronze. Today, however, idols can take a variety of forms. People make an idol out of being married, chasing their careers, or being famous. Anything that takes priority in your life over your relationship with God has become an idol to you. The real danger of choosing your wants and desires over God’s plan for you is the irreversible consequences it has. For some, social media has become an idol in your life, and that idol is just as dangerous as any other one.
The Bible warns Christians against making anyone or anything a priority in life over God. There are many stories of biblical men and women who have lost their families, communities, jobs, property – and even their lives – at the hands of worshipping idols. Jesus makes it clear when He tells us that we aren’t to worship anything other than God (Luke 4:8).
The bible tells us not to copy the behavior and customs of this world, but to let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think (Romans 12:2). That doesn’t mean Christians should not use social media, it means we should not obsess over it or let it influence us against the word of God. There is a right and wrong way to use the internet, and if social media has become an idol in your life you are using it the wrong way. Christians are not supposed to be influenced by the world, but instead, we should be the influencers, raising the standard of what is considered right and wrong.
Addiction to social media keeps us distracted from our relationship with God.
Social Media has the power to bring people together, but if not used correctly, it can be a tool used in the hands of the enemy to hurt people. Cyberbullying and online harassment cause feelings of fear. Feelings of loneliness and unworthiness stem from the ability to see what someone else is doing while comparing their life to yours. The enemy likes to use opportunities like these to distract you from God’s love for you and replace God’s Truth with feelings of fear, worry, anxiety, and stress. The more you watch and compare your life to someone else, the less likely you are to appreciate the life you have.
Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.Galatians 6:4
When not used correctly, social media addiction has been proven to have lasting effects, such as sadness, depression, anxiety, and psychological distress. These feelings don’t come from God, because of Heavenly Father only has good thoughts toward us (Jeremiah 29:11). Negative feelings we experience from taking our eyes off God are the by-product of emotions that come from the lies of the enemy. If you are experiencing the negative effects of social media and believe that social media has become an idol in your life, it is time to make a few lifestyle changes.
5 Warning Signs Social Media Has Become an Idol in Your Life + What To Do About It
1. Social media is the first thing you check when you wake up. Before you grab your phone and check your social media in the morning, take a moment to spend with God in prayer. Thank Him for all He has done for you, and ask Him to order your steps for the day.
2. Social media is the last thing you check before you go to bed. At the end of each evening, don’t log onto your social media accounts at least an hour before bed. Spend quiet time in prayer, reading the bible, or journaling to help relax your mind and focus on good thoughts (Philippians 4:8) before you drift off to sleep.
3. Social media distracts you from spending personal time with God. Getting to know God on an intimate level is a privilege that He has given to His children. Getting to know God comes from doing one very important thing – spending time in His presence. If you find yourself browsing social media for hours at a time, you are wasting valuable time you could be spending with God. Participate in daily devotion, dedicating special time and energy to praying and spending uninterrupted time with God. He may have something He wants to tell you – but you have to listen and give Him a chance to speak.
4. You turn to social media before you turn to God. Social media is a great place to share accomplishments, achievements, opinions, and thoughts with others. Just as people like sharing the good on the internet, there are millions of people who love to share negative emotions and experiences on social media too. If you feel upset and need to vent, turn to God in prayer instead of expressing your anger across the internet. Nothing good can come from an angry rant, so take it to the One who can help you to do something about it.
5. You care more about what your followers think than what God thinks. When posting on social media, we must consider our motives behind the things we share on the internet. Galatians 1:10 says if pleasing people is your first goal, you aren’t Christ’s servant. Consider the things you are posting on social media. Are your actions glorifying God? Or are you posting to please and gain the attention of people? Pray and ask God to help you to use social media without abusing it.
I hope this helps!