10 Signs Social Media Has Become an Idol in Your Life
In today’s world, social media is a huge part of life. It’s how we meet new people, keep up with friends, share information, run our businesses, and learn new things. Without it, modern life would look much different.
As helpful and positive as social media can be, it certainly has its downfalls and negative attributes.
We’ve all been affected one way or another by the mindless scrolling, cyberbullying, petty drama, wasted time, and technology addiction that has come along because of the popular social media platforms. And as Christians, it’s important for us to know when certain boundaries have been crossed.
Social media can go from a positive resource and entertainment to a sinful distraction very quickly.
Has social media become an idol in your life? Check out the 10 signs below to see if you need to take a break from the scroll.
And if you find that social media has become an idol in your life, check out my post on How to Do a Social Media Detox! Read it here.
How Social Media Affects Your Time
1. Social media is the first thing you check when you wake up
If the first thing you think about when you wake up is checking out your feed, then social media might be an idol in your life.
The first minutes of our day should be given to God. I always have a more peaceful and productive day when I made sure to give time to the Lord first, not social media.
2. Social media is the last thing you check before you go to bed
Which leads to the next point: if social media is the last thing you think of before going to bed, then this could also be a sign that it’s becoming an idol in your life.
It’s not wrong to use social media before falling asleep, but don’t let it be the last thing you do. Give that time to God in prayer! Putting away the screens and turning my thoughts over to the Lord always gives me a better rest and keeps my mind focused on what’s important.
3. You’re on social media more than you’re serving God
This can be a tricky one, and it really comes down to how you define “serving God.” That looks a little different for all of us. But basically we can serve God in many ways throughout our days.
From our job to how we treat others around us, from putting our talents and hobbies to use for His kingdom to how we parent our children, and even simply how often you’re spending time with the Lord.
If you’re caught up in social media most of the time (and aren’t using it for a Godly purpose) instead of striving to serve the Lord, then you’re ultimately putting the screen time before God time.
How Social Media Affects Your Relationship with God
4. You turn to social media before you turn to God
How many times have we all turned to the distraction of social media when we felt upset or needed time to get away? Or posted an emotional status to vent about our frustrations?
These aren’t always bad things necessarily (depending on the situation). However, if you’re doing these things before turning to God, then social media is an idol.
God should be who we first turn to when seeking comfort and discussing frustrations— not the Internet.
5. You care about what followers think more than you care about what God thinks
The Bible tells us that one cannot serve both God and man. We should always be striving to please the Lord over this world.
But with all eyes on social media and the pressure to live up to the reality that others have posted, it can be easy to slip into the mentality that we must follow the crowd and do/post worldy things in order to be accepted.
Don’t fall into this trap! When you begin to care more about what your followers think of you than what God thinks of you, you can be sure that social media has become an idol.
6. Social media causes you to sin
We all know how easy the Internet makes it for us to do things. Everything you could possibly want to read, see, or learn is at our fingertips. Not to mention the feeling of being “behind the screen” makes saying and posting certain things feel very, very easy.
If social media has been causing you to sin, then its time to put it aside and take a break. Only you know what type of sins may be resulting from your social media usage, but we can all agree that it isn’t what God intended.
When we put something above the Lord, our minds and hearts begin to twist to the ways of this world, making it even easier to stumble. Which is why it’s so important for us to pinpoint idols in our lives, and make a change to place God back at the top of our priority list.
7. Social media distracts you from your quiet time
I know I get distracted by my phone, notifications, and social media when doing my quiet time with God. Which is why I try to put my phone out of reach and out of sight.
The social media addiction has been a real struggle for me when it comes to spending time with God, and this is a sure sign that it has become an idol.
If you get distracted during your quiet time because of your phone, or perhaps choose it over even doing a quiet time at all, it’s time to put down the apps.
How Social Media Affects Your Priorities
8. You care more about the numbers than the impact
Our priorities can get really messed up when we begin to have idols in our lives.
Social media can be a really positive thing (for example, Christian blogs like this one and accounts that post encouragement, etc.). But we begin to care more about the numbers than the actual impact we’re making, that’s when things are becoming a little skewed.
God doesn't care about how many followers you have or how many like and comments you get. He only cares about your heart and your motives. If you post something positive and encouraging and only one person likes it or gets something from it, you’ve done something great! One person matters.
If you’ve began to think differently and put the analytics above the impact, then you know social media has become an idol.
9. Your motives for using social media are unGodly
Social media in itself can easily become a very selfish platform to use. It’s tempting to make it all about us or use it for personal gain only.
If you’ve fallen into this mindset and you’re using social media for unGodly motives, then it’s definitely become an idol in your life.
10. You put social media over others in your life
Ignoring the people around you, missing out on opportunities, and ultimately becoming oblivious to possible situations God has put you in to make a positive impact, can all be side effects of idolizing social media.
When we’re so consumed by the scroll, we’re prioritizing those posts over the present people that are actually around us in that moment. This can hurt people’s feelings and cause us to miss out on opportunities to support, uplift, and encourage the people in our lives.
I hope these 10 signs have helped you realized if social media has become an idol in your life or not. If it has, you’re not alone! Social media was and certainly still is at times an idol in my life, and it’s a constant effort each and every day to make sure I’m putting God first.
If you’d like to change your relationship with social media, go to the Lord in prayer asking for forgiveness, as well as the strength to put your social media addiction aside.
Also, check out my post 13 Tips for Doing a Social Media Detox for added help! Read it here.
Yours in Christ,
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