For quite a while, I was feeling convicted that it might be time to take a hiatus from Facebook, but my reasoning was quite different from most as it had nothing to do with time consumption or addiction. It instead had everything to do with my happiness, insecurities and inclination to compare myself with others. In fact, Facebook was just another tool that I used to compile “evidence” supporting my inferiority. There were also many aspects of this social media site that began to weigh on me, causing me to wonder if it is really healthy and in some instances morally right.
As of the past few months, I realized that as soon as I logged onto Facebook my mood immediately began to spiral downhill. The reaction seemed to be rote. Even before I finished typing in my password, feelings of inadequacy were already taking root. When logged on, I would use other’s profile pictures to contrast my appearance or the number of people who wished them a virtual happy birthday to analyze my own social life. And still I could not stop. It was not uncommon for me to purposefully go onto the profile pages of those who I knew were prettier than me simply to have some basis for tearing myself down. In many ways, Facebook served as a prime outlet to satisfy my need for comparison and allowed me to feed thoughts of inferiority.
Of course these problem only seem to escalate when there is the power to ‘like’ another’s status or picture. Regardless of whether anyone admits it, it is awkward when you see your posts receiving so few likes while others are raking up the fame. In many ways this is scary. Why does your happiness have to be based on how many people ‘approve’ of what you are doing? Why, as soon as you have a wonderful experience or wake up with your hair needing minimal attention is it assumed that the action is only complete after it is posted on Facebook and others are informed? For me, I wanted to be so sure of who I am as a person that I can have a good hair day and not feel pressured to have others boost my security by simply clicking a button on a computer screen.
Although I only deactivated my account and am considering returning to Facebook at some point in the future, I realized how shallow my security was and the need for me to concentrate on finding my foundation in something not so fleeting. As a Christian I need to ensure that I am not filling my self-confidence or finding my self-esteem in anything aside from Christ. My strong emotional reactions symbolize an area I have yet to surrender, allowing Him to come and help heal my hurting wounds. Even if I perceived myself as gorgeous or earned like after like on my updated profile picture, I refuse for that to fuel my self-perception. I don’t want a bandaid…I want to be genuinely set free.
I want to end by simply saying that this decision to remove my Facebook account was the result of two steps. First, I needed to identify that Facebook was a temptation in my life. I then needed to decide that I was going to do something about it. My desire to shift my security away from social media and onto Christ entailed effort on my own part. I could not simply wait for God to bring complete restoration while I was shooting myself in the foot at the same time. I truly believe that when we give up our idols, when we give up our weaknesses, when we give up our temptations, God has much greater room to work inside of us and draw more of us closer to him.
P.S. My heart goes out to every person who can relate and feels scarred in one way or another with thoughts of inferiority. You are in my prayers.