To many people, Social media is just a pastime. But for
some it’s an addiction almost bordering on disorder. A
recent research says that an average youth spends anywhere
between 3.15 to 4 hours on social media
every day. And the biggest user group is
between the ages of 14-29 year. Although
I make my living through mass and social
media, yet I am not indicting media. It is a
great tool and we must understand the
power it exerts on us.
Imagine an average user who spends 20
hours a week, 80 hours a month on social
media. It is 720 hours a year, which is 40
days in a year. What can you do in forty
Consider the following, ‘New Habits’ to
take advantage of this New Year:
Social media is inescapable, but if you
know how to tame it, it can be your servant.
I do not have Facebook on my phone. Each
time, I am tempted to log in and lurk on
Facebook, I redirect my desire to something
useful that builds me to be a better person.
There are so many personality building
websites you could visit.
Do you fall prey to, “you-like-my-picture
and I-will-like-your-post” syndrome?
Don’t let the virtual ‘likes’ become a
substitute for your real life affections. It
grows subtly on you, but the compulsive need for ‘likes’
and get liked is the currency that drives the social media
economy. If you feel bad that your most daring act ever
posted on fb went unnoticed, then you may be attaching too much importance. Girls Watch Out! It’s a caution: The likes you
receive are not exactly linked to your image. Soon your overall
well-being may end up n a jeopardy when no one cares. Be active
in real life, use virtual/screen presence as a token. But most young
people seem to be heading in the wrong direction.
The nature of media channels is “sticky”. They measure the time
you spend on the site and make money. This simply means, it is
your time but their money. It is your precious God given time. On
the other hand, when you spend time with friends and family ‘face
to face’ the possibilities are endless.
Convert your time on the internet to ‘me-time.’ Listen to Christian
music, inspiring sermons, or just audio Bible. This is a way of
resetting your system. There is a no greater tool that can break
through more powerfully than God’s Word. When your spirit is
enriched and rejuvenated, then you can navigate through social
media with purpose and intent. When you use social media,
remember I Corinthians 13.
Always post positive stuff that makes people feel good. By
definition, social media have turned everyone into armchair activists
and professional commentators. Everyone with a phone is a guru
of some subject. It is not worth battling it out in public, because no
one wants their opinion to be challenged or countered on Facebook.
So, they build a community of their own, get ‘likes’ and feel that
they have done the good deed of the day. Arguments, even for
playful reasons end up hurting people. Always be kind because
behind the Facebook facade is a real individual with a need to be
loved and accepted.
Genuine relationships are hard to substitute with virtual friendships.
No matter how long you are on the social media, true satisfaction
comes from real friendship when joy, sorrow, fun and laughter are
shared. If you are an introvert, use social media to develop
confidence in real life. If you are an extrovert, make sure that these
channels do not become a snare for you. No matter what, do not let
these new channels take over your life. There is a time for social
media, and there is time for Sabbath. Disconnect often and recharge
your soul regularly. God created us as multi-sensory beings. Explore
each sense and live to the fullest.
The Year 2016 is another opportunity to reset your screen time,
limit and go of it. But grab your 40 days this year. Finally, at the
end of the year 2016 or your life, when you look back and ask
yourself, “Where did all my time go?” The answer could be, ‘social
media.’ Don’t let this be in your case.
It is easy for you to let go of bad habits but when they get a grip on
you, it’s tough to break the noose. It will choke you.
A mother has a natural bond with a child but a father has to build one.