And before you think I’m anti-social media, I’m not. I just think we should be realistic about the role it plays it our lives—both positive and negative.
One of the negative things is that it can depress us. I’ve read about a few studies that say spending too much time on social media can drag us down.
Pastor Steven Furtick speculates about why this might be: “We compare our behind-the-scenes with other people’s highlight reels.” Truth! It’s easy to see everyone else’s great moments and think that’s what their life is like ALL the time. And then we compare their online highlight reel to our normal, flawed, bummed-out-on-the-couch-again-in-joggers lives and start to feel like we can never measure up.
If that’s you—and if spending time on social somehow gets you down (even if you’ve been unaware of that fact until now)—I have something for you to try:
Replace some of your social media diet with a prayer of thanksgiving.
I’m not saying give it up 100%. I’m just highlighting the fact that you have a mental diet. Because of that, when you eliminate some of the incessant negative comparisons and replace them with intentional gratitude, you’re proactively helping your brain.
Psalm 37:4 says, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” We are to “delight” in the Lord. Because if we don’t, it’s just too easy to seek our delight somewhere else with something less—including constant comparison and negative gunk.
“We compare our behind-the-scenes with other people’s highlight reels.” So if you’re struggling, replace some of your social media diet with a prayer of thanksgiving.
By Matthew Ruttan
- Today’s “Up!” is partly based on my Sunday podcast called “Mental Health and the Role of Gratitude.” You can listen in to the 25-minute message here. Enjoy!
- Bible verses are from the New International Version (NIV).