Social Media platforms are primarily made for engagements and interactions. Although, social media can be addictive, just like drugs, alcohol, masturbation, and gambling. Excessive use of social media can lead to social media addiction.
A frequently unasked question reads thus, “Can one be addicted to social media?” As vital as social interaction is, it can also result in the detriment of the lifestyle of believers. A lot of believers are in great slumber because of their rampant addiction to online activities.
I remembered the days when our fathers advised us not to move near social media; it was tagged as the devil’s tool to corrupt us. As much as we want to dispute this statement, we should note the iota of truth therein.
Believers now find it difficult to take their hands off the phone or to log out of that enticing video on Instagram, the interesting trending issue on Twitter, and so on. Unconsciously we have been addicted to these platforms, and it is draining our spiritual growth.
1 Corinthians 6:12 (MSG)
Just because something is technically legal doesn’t mean that it’s spiritually appropriate. If I went around doing whatever I thought I could get by with, I’d be a slave to my whims.
How Do I Know I am Addicted to Social Media
Here are the signs to indicate your addiction to social media
1. You cannot do without your social media platforms for long hours
As believers, the only hunger we must consistently have is the word of God. Suppose we notice we feel anxious because we are yet to log in on our social media or while updating the app. In that case, we are impatient, or we feel dependent on our social media, they are the feelings of social media addiction.
2. You cannot resist the sound of your phone notification
Experts pointed out that “Phone notifications spark a small release of dopamine in your brain. This is the “happy chemical” that makes you feel like you’re getting rewarded. Dopamine is a primary element in most addictions, like gambling and smoking. You enjoy the sensation, so you do more to experience it. The cycle continues from there.” This is what triggers the pleasure of addiction
3. Your self-esteem or value is measured by the engagement on your posts
If you refresh your post often to check the number of likes, comments, and retweets. You do monitor your engagement frequently; you are addicted!
4. You are cut out from one on one relationship
If you are the type that is isolated from having a cordial relationship with people around you, even when you visit a friend, you are frequently found with your phone; it is because the time spent on social media has replaced time to be used for building relationships.
5. You measure life events on how to upload worthy they are
Your self-esteem has been lowered because of the glorified online self-presentations by your friends. You even measure your spiritual worthiness to the amount of engagement you have whenever spiritual content is uploaded.
Experts concluded after series of research that youths who log in to social media frequently have lower self-esteem.
6. You entertain your phone before bed and immediately after waking up
A believer should have his/her morning devotion before doing anything on the phone. Addiction to social media emanates when the first thing you do is to be anxious about your social media immediately after you wake up. This has been the reason behind spiritually drained believers.
Consider all these and ask yourself, “Am I Addicted to Social Media.”
What are the effects of Social Media Addiction?
1. Deficiency in Spiritual Growth:
Whenever you are addicted to a particular thing, you see yourself spending more time doing it. This will draw you far away from doing your default obligation as believers, i.e., reading the word of God.
2. Loose reverence for God:
These days, because of the advanced world where we can now access the Bible from our phones, believers use this as an excuse for engaging social media even while in the presence of God. As a result, we gradually lose the respect we have for God.
3. Low self-esteem
Being carried away by the online lifestyle of others, measuring your value by your online engagement damages your self-esteem. You may find it difficult to start something meaningful even in ordinary life. You degrade yourself and damage your self-esteem.
4. Prayerfully Weak
During prayers, either corporate or personal, you find yourself thinking of your interaction with somebody, the photos you haven’t uploaded. So, naturally, the devil will use all these to weaken your prayer life. Meanwhile, a place of prayer is a place where a believer receives strength.
What do I do If I am Addicted to Social Media?
1 Corinthians 10:13 (MSG)
No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.
Whatever temptation comes our way, God will always be there to help us come through all these.
1. Turn to God in prayer and study of the word of God:
The only refuge we have as believers Is Jesus Christ. We can only access Him through the word of God and prayer. Whatever issues we have, we still have to go back to Him for help.
Meanwhile, while we are communing with God, we must understand some basic things. I call them the 3 Ds.
2. Make use of the 3 Ds
- Determination: Have a solid determination to get yourself out of the addiction. Do away with your social media. You can start from a day, then more days. I am not saying you shouldn’t use social media at all. It is a tool we ought to use frequently for advancing the gospel but not to the detriment of our spiritual growth.
- Dedication: After you might have drawn out your plans, be dedicated to them
- Discipline: This is the essential part. In all your determination and dedication, BE DISCIPLINED! Many end up going back to where they started from because of their inability to be self-disciplined.