The Dangers of Social Media: How It Fuels a Comparison Mentality
Last week I briefly mentioned social media being either a resume or a journal. Let me share some deeper perspectives.
In today’s digital age, social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. While it has its benefits, social media also has its dangers. One of the most insidious dangers is how it fuels a comparison mentality that none of us can win. In this blog post, we’ll explore the dangers of social media and how it creates constant pressure to compare ourselves to others.
Seth Godin once said, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” In the case of social media, people don’t just share what they do; they share why they do it. Social media is full of carefully curated images and stories that depict a perfect life, but it’s important to remember that these images are not always an accurate representation of reality. Comparing our lives to the highlight reel of someone else’s life can be damaging to our mental health.
As Dallas Willard wrote, “The most important thing in your life is not what you do; it’s who you become.” Social media can create a false sense of identity based on external validation rather than internal growth. By constantly comparing ourselves to others, we can lose sight of our own unique identity and what truly matters in life.
Social media can also create a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) that leads to unhealthy behavior. As Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” By focusing on what truly matters, we can avoid the trap of FOMO and find contentment in the present moment.
Moreover, social media can also lead to online harassment, cyberbullying, and the spread of misinformation. While social media can be a powerful tool for communication and activism, it’s important to use it responsibly and with empathy toward others.
In conclusion, the dangers of social media are real, but they can be mitigated by recognizing the comparison mentality that it fuels. By focusing on our own unique journey and seeking contentment in the present moment, we can resist the pressure to compare ourselves to others. As Paul wrote in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Let us also not forget the importance of using social media responsibly and with empathy toward others. As the apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:8-9, “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”
It seems that some of us all of the time or all of us some of the time are sucked into a culture of comparison fostered through social media. I am not suggesting we become troglodytes by burning our computers, but let’s be aware of the dangers and allow these passages to form our values on social media rather than the other way around.