We type the usernames and passwords of our account, hit the log-in button and presto – we have just stepped into the world of social media. Creators of these social media designed their engines in such a away that each person would have their own profile, allowing them to express themselves on a screen, in cyberspace, to an audience they don’t see. It has become a way of life.
I am guilty of time spent sharing and expressing myself online. While I was exploring my newly-created Facebook account, I was so excited that also signed-up for accounts in Twitter, Tumblr, Yahoo and Blogspot. I eventually deactivated some accounts but I tried to be active online, until I eventually found it impractical to keep up. I dropped Twitter, Tumblr (and oh, my Friendster account too) because I forgot their passwords. As much as I have tried to be active online with these accounts for that motive’s sake, eventually, I find it unpractical to keep it up.
During my active online days, I would post and say things on Facebook without checking my motives. Whatever comes to mind – if it can get more likes and attention from my friends – it gets posted. It came to a point that I felt the need to post something new everyday: my accomplishments, places I’ve been to, things I’ve done. In turn, I would like my friends’ posts. I would post short articles and gain readers who share and relate with the same sentiments that make them agree and like the things I’ve written. I was yearning for those likes. I was being defined by what I posted and how others reacted. I had the wrong motives.
This lasted for several months until my online activity eventually dwindled. One day, I logged in, and as I typed my status, I found myself hanging for a minute thinking of what I could say. There was no longer the desire to post anything. God had changed my heart.
And I know there are many out there who are or was in the same predicament I was in. At the computer shop one night, I decided to linger a bit even after my time was over, to observe. The person next to me was just like me – posting insignificant things just to express and share to his cyber world his own and personal sentiments. I realized that today’s youth are too hooked on social media, the internet or on gadgets. I realized that the youth today are engaged in things that take up too much of their valuable time – things that have no lasting value – and with the wrong motives.
I am grateful that my time in that phase had passed. I thank God that He revealed my motives to me that I began to spend my time in things that are worthwhile and of value. I started to correct my motives to not yearn for things that are temporal.
Since then, I was able to do good and great things apart from being online. I have made myself even more productive – all by God’s grace. The demands of what I do now may come with challenges, but meditating on God’s word each day is what sustains me.
Being absent in Facebook allows me to be present and immersed in the pages of God’s Book. Being logged in to His word makes me logged out from the insignificant comments of men. To be in His presence is to be absent of the world’s influence. Being logged out from the internet means that I’m logged in at the task that God has assigned and intended for me to do.
You don’t have to be always present in social media if in turn you forget your priorities – especially your obedience to God. There’s nothing wrong with having an online account but if that steals your time to do the more important things, you need to stop and think. After all, we are not defined by the likes and reactions we get online.
Our identity is not based on what we post on our profile pages but how we respond to real-life situations. Our identity is based on where we are with God and what He tells us to do. I assure you that you will enjoy your life with Him while you are logged out.
Writer’s Bio: Aaron Paul Teodosio is a church volunteer and a student of the Word at New Life Christian Center. Read more of his thoughts at katwiranmo.blogspot.com