“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1-2
I hope this post will empower you today, as a teen or as a parent, on how to be a light in this social media world! More than ever, your friends, acquaintances, family members so desperately need to hear what you have to say.
I think it would be safe to say that you have at least one social media account including Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram, and VSCO. I know you may have both spam and real accounts.
In other words, how to be God’s voice when as a teen you are interacting with social media to be a light to those people around you that are hurting, lonely, lost, scared, struggling.
Why are we using social media?
Almost 5 years ago I began my own lifestyle brand in the home décor niche, and as you can imagine the bulk of what I do as is on social media platforms. I interact on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook daily, and sometimes TikTok. It is very much a part of my life and my career.
Let’s get started.
Pitfall 1: Have you ever heard of the comparison trap?
It can make us devalue ourselves, forget what is a blessing in our lives. This leads to focusing on our deficiencies. All you think about is what you don’t have. All of a sudden we find ourselves trapped.
Can you relate?
With comparison, we believe things that aren’t even real! Most likely they have filtered their photos, cropped them, used an app to move things around, and get them just like they should be.
Plus, their social media is the “best of the best”! No one is sharing their low-light reels.
Galatians 1:10 reminds us, “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant[a] of Christ.”
What do I mean by presence? One of the things is that social media causes us not to be present.
We are not in tune. Scrolling can become our go-to when we are with others, by ourselves. day and night.
Distraction and/or disconnection in real life with others:
It can serve as a distraction for those around us in real life, and ultimately disconnect us from those people.
It’s kinda paradox isn’t it…we use social media as a way to connect with others, but the pitfall is when it becomes our only way to connect with others.
We don’t allow phones at the table, we were eating lunch at the beach and he says I’ve don’t serves families that aren’t on their phones. It’s refreshing to see a family laughing and talking with each other instead of face down on their phones.
He noticed because it’s unusual.
Spending too much time on our phones can be wasteful and can leave us empty or lonely.
What kind of temptations I am talking about that teens could potentially indulge on with social media?
You can’t choose what you hear at school but you can choose what you hear on TikTok; it can be fun, and cute videos. it’s hard to be on TikTok for a few minutes and not hear language or see something that is not in your values. When you’re scrolling TikTok, and when you watch that over and over again it adds up. The more things you take in like that it does affect those.
Overall, we can find ourselves compromising our values, morals, and our faith. You don’t want your presence on social media to be different than who you are in a real person.
Before you post, take a moment to pause and ask yourself, “Does this bring glory to God?”
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?” Luke 9:23-25
Take your phone out of your hand and set it down. Connect with those around you.
Right now, go into your screen time, and see what your hours are.
What if you cut it by 50% today, tomorrow, or the week. As a way of doing a heart check.
Did you die when that happened?
Or, better yet, get your parents to go in and do it so you can’t undo it.
Here’s the issue, we don’t think about our virtual community the same way we do our real-life one. Your parents tell you in real life to hang out with Christ-followers.
What about the virtual community of friends. If I looked on your For You Page on TikTok or account you follow and we thought about those as virtual nobodies as real people?
What would your friends feel about it? Brought into your circle, would that be cool?
We don’t think about these things, we compartmentalize online vs. real life. Online communities may have people that we would never interact with in real life.
Aim to be the same person online as you are in real life.
In summary, I want to leave you with the message’s translation of the scripture we started this teens and social media article from Romans:
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”