Contributor: Drew Turner
I did an experiment throughout the summer by deactivating all my social media accounts (except the HopeHouse International® accounts I manage).
Things I have learned and experienced from deactivating my accounts:
1. I didn’t let social media control me. Instead, I controlled social media: When I didn’t have my head in my electronics, I realized there is a huge world outside. I believe that everyone should LOOK UP! It is not until we put down our phones, switch off our computers and look in each other’s eyes, will we then be able to touch each other’s hearts. The few times that the world really comes together on social media is when there is a natural catastrophe. . . and that’s a good thing. So many people text or do social media while at the breakfast, lunch and dinner. It saddens me that when I go somewhere to eat, there are people who constantly text or are on social media instead of having a conversation with each other. I believe that family and friends are sacred and we shouldn’t take them for granted. Sabrina Carpenter once said, “There is no connection that we can make with any screen that compares to the moment we understand every human being has a soul.” When we put down our technology, we talk about things that are important to each other, we listen, we encourage and we connect to one another.
2. I got closer to God: When I was on my electronic devices, it was keeping me from spending time with God. God doesn’t communicate through social media or technology. He communicates with us when we read His word and spend time in prayer.
3. I got closer with my family: Engaging with our family is more important than spending time on social media.I enjoyed my family in ways that only personal interaction could allow.
It’s a very sad fact that we don’t connect to, or with, one another very much anymore. With the exception of those from generations before the smart phones, it’s rare to see people looking up and interacting with each other. It is like we can’t exist without technology.
Also social media can be dangerous. According to Jean Twenge, “The more time teens spend looking at screens, the more likely they are to report symptoms of depression.” USA Today has an article called Social Media Raises Fear of Teen Suicide Contagion on depression of social media. In my opinion, it can be the devil’s playground. Once social media has a grasp on us, the devil can lure us away from family, friends and God.
Social Media serves a definite purpose in business, marketing, awareness and as a means of keeping in touch with others. But it will never replace the infinite value of connecting on a personal level with those around us. We should take back what social media has stolen from us…our personal connections with families, friends, brothers and sisters.