I have been bothered lately by my social media usage. The problem is not the posts, the pictures or even security issues. Most of my family and friends post news about family events, beautiful family pictures and inspirational reflections. As to security concerns, it is too late to worry about that. We are only fooling ourselves if we think we can control our privacy. My social media problem is me.
I do not post that much on Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms but I still try to stay current with family and friends by reading their posts. Whenever one of my family or friends posts something, a little circle appears on the appropriate social media icon. This circle will contain the number of new post since I last opened the app. My curiosity will usually get the best of me and I will open the app to read the new post. This habit is starting to make me feel uneasy. It is as if my time is being managed by social media.
Today’s Mass reading crystallized my thoughts on this unease. The reading is from the First Letter to Timothy.
Do not neglect the gift you have,
which was conferred on you through the prophetic word with the
imposition of hands by the presbyterate.
Be diligent in these matters, be absorbed in them,
so that your progress may be evident to everyone.
Attend to yourself and to your teaching;
persevere in both tasks,
for by doing so you will save
both yourself and those who listen to you.
This reading brings up some questions I must ask myself. Am I using my time wisely? Have I neglected the gifts God has given me? Should my time be used for things more conducive to my spiritual well being? These are just some of the questions we can all ask ourselves.
Maybe it is time to for us to evaluate our own lives and how much social media effects it. Do we let social media comments influence our decisions? Does social media determine how we feel about ourselves and others? Are we using our time on social media wisely and for the greater glory of God? One thing we can all do is evaluate our social media usage. Are we managing our usage of social media or is social media managing us?
I will continue to use the various social media programs I have joined but I want to cut back on the time I use these programs. One way for me to do this is by deleting these apps from my phone. If I need to use social media, it will require the deliberate act of me signing in on my laptop. No more app opening just because I have been shown something new has been posted.