by Emilie Baca
“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light”
– Matthew 6:22
When you read the title, did you know what I meant right away? Pew Research says that 70% of Americans use social media, so I know I’m not the only one who has wasted minutes and hours on social media because it has turned into such a mindless act. Maybe I’m the only one when I say this but, I’ll be watching a brand new show and all of a sudden I find myself scrolling. I’ll be winding down for bed and find myself an hour deep into scrolling. I’ll be waiting in line at Target, scrolling. Bathroom… scrolling (TMI???)
The frustrating part is that I genuinely want to be on social media less and yet I still do it! Can I get a, “Me too, sister”?!
Social media isn’t going away anytime soon, but I believe there can be a balance.
When our social media use is not balanced, it affects our overall life. As we scroll more we can see things we want that we don’t have. We can realize how unproductive our time has become. We compare ourselves to others and can find ourselves in a negative, critical place in our mind and soul.
When we start to question ourselves—our value, our identities, our happiness— due to someone else’s progress in career, relational status, or financial gain …that is unhealthy. This deception can even cause us to doubt who we are in Christ. We begin to believe that our identity is less than what God has created us to be. But God calls us to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and that is what can keep our eyes straight ahead, focused on the right things.
When I notice my mind is wandering to a place of judgment and a critical spirit is rising up, I have to learn to put the phone down. Put it down. Laying down the phone in that moment of self-awareness makes all the difference. We MUST give careful thought to what we let our eyes see.
When I allow my eyes to see the social media feeds of others and I don’t covet what they have, I know my eyes are healthy. So how do we get to a place of healthy eyes and less scrolling? My challenge for this is the same for most things. We go to Jesus. We ask the Lord to remove the scales from our eyes (Acts 9:18) and to see things how He would want us to view his creation. We ask for forgiveness and truly repent because what we do in secret affects our public lives (Luke 12:2).
Maybe take a social media detox. Delete the app from your phone. We will soon recognize how much more time we have for our day. Try it out for a day, a week, and or maybe a month! Honestly, many of us could use a social media detox after being cooped up at home for as long as we have.
And when we are ready to re-download it, we can come back to the app with intentionality. I want to encourage you to start by setting a time limit on your smartphone to control excess minutes on your device. From there, get to work! You can leverage social media to inspire you and help you stay connected to the people, ministries, and organizations you care about. It is from there that you can become more creative and effective with your time. Big or small, be proud of what comes from your efforts to cut down the unproductive time on your phone. Whether your outcome is that the dishes are clean or that you are that much closer to finishing writing your novel…you slowly have learned to stop the scrolling.
Emilie Baca is a recent grad student of Northwest University, with her undergrad in Intercultural Studies and Masters in Ministry Leadership. She serves as the Women’s Lead at New Life Church in the greater Seattle area and is an Ordained Minister of the Assemblies of God. She’s a writer and champion of women and blogs at emiliebaca.com. Follow her on IG @emiliebaca.