I enjoy a love/hate relationship with social media. At their best, the various platforms deliver community, communication, promotion, and education. At their worst, the social networks are a terrible time-suck that provide opportunities for hate speech, cyber bullying, and ignorant rants.
I resisted the siren’s call of social media for years. I dipped my toes into the water in 2013 with a weekly blog. In 2017, I took the plunge by creating a Facebook page. However, I continue to draw the line at instagramtwittertictoxlinkedinredditsnapchat.
A large part of my vocation is communication. The message remains the same, but the medium changes. I felt convicted to join a social platform to share the gospel and to connect with parishioners.
However, I quickly experienced the addictive nature of social media. What began as a high and holy calling degenerated into scanning pictures of people’s meals or enjoying memes of cute kittens. During any free moment, I found myself habitually checking the latest posts.
During Lent, I committed to check Facebook twice a day in the morning and evening. This felt like a healthy balance that enabled me to keep up with others without wasting time on inane topics. After Easter, however, I slipped back into my old habits.
Social media makes a wonderful servant but a terrible taskmaster. Therefore, I’m recommitting to my discipline of checking Facebook twice a day. Perhaps others might feel a similar need to create appropriate boundaries.
To misquote Jesus, social media was made for people, not people for social media.