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My Unpopular Decision Regarding Social Media

            I have quite the collection of unpopular opinions that have awarded me some interesting stories to share. Here’s one that I hope stirs as much conviction in your life as it did mine.

            On a crisp, October morning around 10 a.m., I repented and turned from breaking the first commandment:

You shall have no other gods before me.

            I have received the following questions regarding my decision to live a more fruitful life by deleting all personal social media accounts:

“When are you coming off of your “break” from social media?”

I am slightly unnerved someone other than myself is this concerned with my social media use.

“Don’t you feel left out?”

Left out of what? I am still greatly perplexed by this question.

“Why didn’t you tell me about this?”

Don’t you hate when someone announces on Facebook that they are taking a break from social media and how to contact them if you need to? Me too. If I’m your friend on Facebook, chances are I know you well enough to get in touch with you and if not, we probably shouldn’t be Facebook friends. Just a thought… Internet safety, people.

Some just ask, “Why?”

I have nothing against social media itself. It can be quite awesome. Social media is a way for family and friends to stay connected, businesses to expand, and believe it or not- used to further God’s Kingdom. It’s like a gun. Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. Just as guns can be extremely helpful, they can also be used to harm and destroy.

I began to contemplate the termination of my personal social media accounts in September. I was complaining to my grandmother about not having enough time to read a couple new books, organize a room at home, start putting back some of my writing for a future book, and the list goes on.

I decided to write out a typical Haley week down to the minute. I was determined to find a solution to this issue. There were substantial blocks of time taken up by classes, meetings, exercise, church, dinner with friends here and there, and so on. There were also spaces in which studying, sleep, and writing got crammed in. It was while looking over this impressive schedule that I realized the absurd amount of time I spent on social media. I was in complete denial at first. I thought there was no way I spent that much time on worthless apps.

After doing some calculations, I discovered that I spent almost 25% more time on social media than in fellowship with God.

The schedule didn’t lie. My calculations didn’t either.

After making this discovery, I had two choices:

Make an excuse.

or

Obey the 1st Commandment.

            Having grown up in a Christian home, I know the bible well. I was raised by it. I have read it thoroughly. I study it purposefully. If I continued this behavior, knowing what God’s Word says, I would be disregarding one of the 10 Commandments which I have been able to recite since before kindergarten.

To disregard my knowledge of scripture because it is convenient for me, is the equivalent of telling the Creator of the universe, “I don’t need your rules. I can make my own.”

It only took a few days of prayer and study for me to realize I needed out. Immediately.

So that was that.

I can honestly say I have not missed it a single day. To be completely honest, I never think about not having it unless someone asks me a question regarding the subject. If I see that I am no longer controlled by social media, I may ease back into it slowly.

True peace is only found by living in obedience to Christ.

For me to say God has given me peace regarding this decision is an understatement.

Now I have a question for you.

Have you placed any other gods before HIM?

            I encourage you to examine your schedule. Your idol may be different than mine. You might be placing the priority of a sport, an activity, an object, or even another person before Christ. If so, that is disobedience to Him.

Take time this week to pray and ask God to make you aware of any idols in your life. Make a strategic plan to assess the issue.

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