Originally Posted on January 23, 2013.
This time last year, I noticed that I was struggling to have a solid daily quiet time with God. “Why is this so difficult?” I would ask myself. So I began to pray and ask God to show me what it was that I had been doing lately that distracted me from spending time with him. So then I noticed that I was spending a hefty amount of time (like 1-2 hours a day) on Instagram. And not just Instagram….Facebook and Twitter, too. (so that’s 1-2 hours on each app a day). But honestly, my problem, was Instragam. Let’s just say after praying about Instagram, God convicted me of the amount of time I was spending on there. In the beginning, I decided to just delete the app from my phone. This helped me not get distracted as easily. Especially if you are a digital person like me and use YouVersion’s devotional plans. After about 2 months, I felt that I could install Instagram again onto my phone. It hasn’t been as hard to get distracted by it. It’s a great app and can be used for the glory of God, but I think that a lot of us (me included) have been or are using it in the wrong manner.
One of the things I’ve noticed is that people tend to post a lot of pictures of themselves or what we know to be ‘selfies’. You probably know what I am talking about. You can agree or disagree with me but I just want to share with you what I’ve been thinking.
Just imagine if I walked up to you at church and held out my camera…took a picture of myself…then gave it you? Wouldn’t that seem weird? Not to mention awkward? And then to top it off, I told you to sign it with your signature of approval…”Like”. We do things on social media that we would never do in real life. Here’s just a few Instagram Photo-Types:
- Kids Doing Lame Stuff.
- Cute Baby Photos in Rapid Succession.
- Delicious Food Photos.
- Disgusting Food Photos.
- Self Portraits.
- Landscapes, Cityscapes and Travel Photos.
- Fingers and Toes. (why oh why?!)
- Clocks and Weather.
We can post countless pictures of ourselves smiling or eating or whatever and feel totally normal about it. I’m not saying its wrong…(I have some up myself). What I am saying is…when you look at it from an different perspective, doesn’t this seem a bit strange to you? I came across this quote on gotquestions.org and thought they summarized it pretty well.
Christians should be aware of the danger of the narcissism (excessive self-love and preoccupation with self) inherent in self-oriented sites. Studies have shown that overuse or wrong motives in social media participation can breed narcissism. When we rely on social media sites primarily to promote ourselves or draw attention to ourselves, it is time to take a step back.
Narcissism is the term used in psychology to describe a preoccupation with self. It is a Greek term taken from the name of the mythological Narcissus, who fell in love with his own image and was doomed to die because he would not turn away from it. A narcissist is a person who displays a high level of selfishness, vanity, and pride. He sees everything from a “how does this affect me?” perspective. Empathy is impossible for the narcissist because his only perspective is the one centered on self.
Besides the issue of social media in general being a time-waster, I think narcissism can be one of our biggest problems. We post pictures of ourselves and wait. For what? Wait for the compliments to flow in. Why? So that we feel good—(who doesn’t love it when people tell them how pretty or beautiful they look?) Just double-tap it and it adds another number next to the little heart. But could these selfies be another way we are focusing our attention and time on ourselves rather than focusing on God? I can’t help but think of this verse:
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
- Do I spend more time on Instagram than I do in God’s word?
- Is Instagram being used as a tool to promote God or just myself?
- What is my goal within Instagram and posting a “selfie”?
I think Instagram is a great app. But I want to challenge you to take a step back and evaluate your time and what you post on Instagram, like I did. When I stepped back, I noticed there were definitely some things wrong with it in my own life. But don’t get me wrong…I still love Instagram!
So…what do you girls think about Instagram? Share your thoughts.