Feeding Our Dark Side Through Social Media
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Feeding Our Dark Side Through Social Media

Social Media is one big marketing campaign where everyone is trying to sell themselves and their lives to the world.

Feeding Our Dark Side Through Social Media
Christiaan Colen

I have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and LinkedIn profile. I spend a lot of time on Pinterest too. I know how to like, share, and tweet my way through life just fine. I spend a lot of time scrolling and I admit I enjoy it. I like knowing what my friends and family are up to. I also admit I may enjoy it a little too much sometimes. I have noticed something about me, though. Sometimes I can scroll through social media and all I feel is happiness for the people I see on my feeds. Other days, I can barely look at one picture without feeling overwhelmed with envy.

I never know what kind of day it is going to be until I pick up the phone and open an app to scroll. I could have a long string of days where I am genuinely happy for the people I see on my feed. Then again, I could have a long string of days where one good engagement picture turns into an entire devotional spent talking it over with God. It makes no difference how my own life is going. I could be making great strides personally and professionally and still struggle with the bitterness social media sometimes brings me.

When I first realized how social media was making me feel, it scared me. I shouldn’t be feeling like this. I’ve got a lot of things going for me. It’s just Facebook! Then I realized, it wasn’t about what I had already. It was about what I thought I didn’t have and the fact I thought others already had what I wanted.

It’s only after I put the phone down that I started to reframe how I was viewing not only myself, but everyone else on social media. Social Media is one big marketing campaign where everyone is trying to sell themselves and their lives to the world. It’s the highlight reel. It’s the good stuff about why everyone should invest their time and their money in the person who is sharing that content. It’s real life without all of the things that make it so real. You see the graduations without the self-doubt’s and the all-nighter’s that happened along the way. You see the weddings without the stresses of what it took to plan. You see the new jobs without the reasons behind why the old one ended.

Don’t get me wrong, I love watching the highlight reel. It’s good to watch the people I care about triumph. However, I need to watch the whole ball game to keep me focused on what’s important. If I don’t, it becomes really easy for me to think walk-off grand-slams aren’t a rare gift from God. (Believe you me, they so are.)

I have learned to put the phone down and stop scrolling right when I feel that first twinge of “Why can’t that be me?” It may be for a day. It may be for a week. I don’t know how long I’ll need to put my phone down without feeling jealous when I start feeling that way. All I know is, I need to put it down until I can pick it back up again with a heart full of good intentions. My phone and my social media accounts do not dictate my life and my moods. I do. But, I can’t be in control if I don’t have the self-control to realize what is happening and put the phone down when it does.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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