“You shall not make idols for yourselves or erect an image or pillar, and you shall not set up a figured stone in your land to bow down to it, for I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 26:1
We recently hosted a speaker at my workplace that talked about mental health and wellness issues. She informed us that one of the prevailing crisises in the mental health world is the false reality that social media creates.
Instagram. Twitter. Snapchat. Facebook. And the pressure to create the image of a “perfect” life.
Perfect kids. Perfect spouse. Perfect lifestyle. Popularity.
While there’s nothing wrong with sharing our experiences with others, it can become an issue for our own mental health when we start comparing the “virtual lives” of others with our own flawed, broken lives. Comparison- it’s been said- is the thief of joy.
She spoke of another issue with the wellness pitfalls of social media…and that we can use it to create idols of ourselves.
What? Idols of ourselves?
When we go beyond sharing and move toward logging how many “followers” we have….how many “likes” we get on a certain posting…how many “shares” we receive from a particular photo….we are in danger of building an idol of ourselves.
This hit my squarely in the chest. I use social media to promote my workplace and region, but I often catch myself trying to say the “right” thing or following how many responses I receive on my posts.
My prayer this week is that I look at social media at what it truly is: a platform for sharing a message or to stay connected with others. And I will also pray that I use it for good…and not be consumed with the pitfalls associated with self-promotion and vanity. I want to let the Lord’s love and grace radiate through my words, thoughts and images.
Please let me know how I may pray for you, too.
God bless you.