Less Than, Left Out, & Lonely: The Down Side of Social Media

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One of my favorite authors, Lysa Terkeurst, said this at a women’s conference I attended. We need to be mindful of when social media makes us feel less than (‘Sure wish my kids dressed that nicely.’ or ‘My house never looks like that.’), left out (‘Seems like everyone but me is into XYX.’ or ‘Too bad I didn’t get the invite out for coffee.’), or lonely (‘They all look like they are having so much fun and here I am stuck a home!’ or ‘Must be nice to have so many friends.’).

I was just gone at church camp for a few days and I was on a total media blackout: no email, no Facebook, no Twitter, nothing! And it was really, really….NICE! I laughed, I talked, I slept, I played, and my face was not buried in a screen. It felt pretty awesome to be interacting with people and kids from my church and feel like I was really living out the experience. I get home, log onto Facebook and immediately begin feeling terrible. I’m feeling all of the above: less than, left out, lonely. My friends aren’t trying to make me feel that way with their posts (hopefully…) but it is when I let those feeling of inadequacy creep in that the idea burrows itself into my mind.

I’m just as guilty as the next person of maybe, perhaps, portraying my life a little more peachy on social media than it is in reality. I also realize that all of you are reading this post on some type of electronic device. They can be used for good! I keep up with family members more closely, I’m able to shop and save time, I have books/movies/music at my fingertips, and I love finding things that make me laugh. I guess it really is just all about balance. These few days without it all didn’t really leave me wanting for anything. I think I just need to remember how good that felt and act accordingly.

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