Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, music.ly. The list goes on and on. Humankind has never been more connected, and as leaders, there have never been more ways to stay in touch with people. But it’s time we take stock of what social media might be doing to our potential.
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine conducted a study about the effects of social media habits on the moods of users. The research determined that the more time young adults use social media, the more likely they are to be depressed. Additionally, countless articles have been written about “social media envy.” That is the idea that when we see only the best of others, their successes, perfect families, and lavish lifestyles we feel worse about ourselves. It’s a dangerous trap that I believe all of us have fallen into at one time or another. Watching others seemingly succeed so easily can produce crippling doubt about our capabilities and callings.
So what do we do? Should we shut off social media altogether? No. Sticking our head in the sand is never the answer. Instead, we need to understand the truth about the platform and guard our minds against the lies we are susceptible to believing.
The first lie is that we don’t have what it takes. Here’s the truth: you have exactly what it takes! Every passion, every dream…every goal and every vision you have was put there by God. Not only that, but He also gave you the talent and skills you need to make them a reality! It may take time to train and develop those talents. But God has a specific mission and destiny for you. He has a journey all planned out for you and has equipped you not just to survive it…but to thrive in it!
The second lie is that we should have already achieved success. First of all, what does success look like to you? Because here’s the truth: if you have already achieved the pinnacle of success, you’re not dreaming big enough! God is not on a schedule. He doesn’t expect you to be perfect by the time you’re thirty. He doesn’t expect you to fulfill your mission before forty. He gave you your entire life to do it! Why? Because it’ll take your whole life to do it – it’s that big of a mission! God’s plans for your life are that extraordinary!
The last lie is that we aren’t doing as well as other people. This is the lie that social media makes so easy to believe. Most of us probably have friends or family who seem to be “succeeding” more than we are. We begin to think we’re doing something wrong. We wonder if we’ll ever be “successful” like they are. Well, the answer is probably not. Why? Because you probably have different ideas of success. You can’t measure yourself against somebody else’s yardstick. God has a specific destiny for them. And He has a specific one for you as well. And they’re different! They weren’t meant to fulfill your mission. And you weren’t meant to fulfill theirs. So accept the truth: you’re doing just fine on God’s journey for you.