By Dinecea Gates
We live in a society that is consumed with everything “perfect”—perfect pictures, perfect timelines, perfect lives. All too often, what is presented to us through various forms of media in this age of connectivity somehow becomes our measure of perfection, of success, or even of normal.
Age of Connectivity: Social Media and the Perfect Picture
What happens when we don’t measure up to what we see? Usually we find ourselves in a state of internal conflict. Do we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, showing the world the reality of our (sometimes) messy and out-of-focus lives? Or do we hide our imperfections behind various filters, leading others to believe our lives are picture perfect? More times than not we choose the latter.In an age where new tools and opportunities to connect with other people are emerging every day, we find ourselves feeling isolated and disconnected from the world around us. Click To Tweet
In an age where new tools and opportunities to connect with other people are emerging every day, we find ourselves feeling isolated and disconnected from the world around us. We have traded conversations over coffee for the sense affirmation that comes from likes and comments on a social media post.
Social Media and Loneliness
We would rather engage with our electronic devices and social media accounts than allow ourselves to be open and vulnerable with the ones we love.
We find ourselves feeling lonely in a sea of friends and followers.
As a result, we find ourselves feeling lonely in a sea of friends and followers.
Honestly, it’s a vicious cycle in which we find ourselves.
Social media is not a terrible thing. It is a powerful, valuable, and indispensable tool when used correctly. The issue is many of us are not using it to supplement our social interactions, but (often unintentionally) to replace meaningful human interaction. Not only is this a heart-wrenching reality, it’s a dangerous one.
Created to Exist in Community
God created us to exist in community with one another.
God created us to exist in community with one another. It is both imperative for our survival and instrumental to our growth.
So how, in a culture where it’s easier to remain disconnected from life’s realities, do we learn and teach others to reconnect with our communities in meaningful ways? Here are seven ways to do just that:
- Limit your time on social media. This can be tough, but limit the time you spend on social media platforms and replace some of that time with time interacting with others in a personal and meaningful way.
- Use your time on social media wisely. Follow accounts and people that affirm the truth of God’s Word, and/or challenge you to be a better person. In reverse, leverage your voice and influence to share the truth of God’s Word and challenge others to be better people.
- Find ways to connect with others face to face. We all understand how busy life can be, but we must never forget to connect with people in real life. Carve out some time each week to have coffee or dinner with a friend. Teach a Bible study to a new believer or have Bible study with an old friend.
- Be present. Put down your phone and enjoy the company of those around you.
- Be honest and open. Not everything in our lives is as perfect as it appears on social media and that’s okay! In a world where what is presented is always perfect and unattainable, people are looking to connect with someone who is real.
- Be trustworthy. No one wants to share their lives, especially their shortcomings, with someone who will freely share it with others. Be someone who can be trusted with the intimate details of life.
- Pray. Yes, pray. Pray that the Lord will lead you to people with whom you can connect in meaningful ways.
Dinecia Gates holds two degrees in communication and loves traveling, flowers, cupcakes, the beach, and coffee. She serves as director of admissions for Urshan College and Urshan Graduate School of Theology.
A version of this content originally appeared in Reflections. To see more content or subscribe, visit Reflections.