5 Ways to Still be Intentional in a Social Media World

By Holly Clark – Administrative and Development Assistant

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Have you thought about how distracting social media can be in our lives and in relationships?

Lately I’ve felt overwhelmed as though I just can’t get away from the noise around me. Unfortunately our relationships and experiences are inspired and often dominated by the media. We’ve come up with 5 ways to be more intentional in our relationships and how to be discerning in a media dominated world. Check it out:

  1.  Let some experiences just be: You and a friend are on one of the most beautiful autumn walks of your life. Your significant other just planned the cutest picnic for you in the backyard. You are enjoying the most delicious donut you’ve ever had. What if you enjoyed these activities instead of posting them to Instagram for everyone to view? We need to re-learn the craft of being present. Enjoy the hike and remember the smells of the autumn leaves or the color of the sky. Ask your significant other intentional questions about their day and show true appreciation for their act of kindness. Eat your donut and then go buy another one! Sometimes, we forget to live a true life because we are too focused on posting our experiences instead of completely experiencing them. Don’t miss out on these sweet gifts!

 

  1. Allow yourself to be truly quiet: You know when you get to the coffee shop you were supposed to meet your friend and she/he isn’t there yet? And so you take out your phone and start looking through Twitter, Instagram or Facebook? What if you decided to read a book instead, or people watch? You might meet someone new or learn to enjoy time spent alone. We become so easily uncomfortable with the in-between-times of the day and our iPhones can be a quick fix. But this also leaves us constantly distracted and immersed in the media. Practice the art of being quiet.

 

  1. Some conversations aren’t meant to be shared: In some ways (and I’m completely guilty of this) we have lost the art of spending intentional, quality time with other people. I know my husband and I have missed precious moments to distractions on our phones. But life is too short to miss out on good conversations with friends and family. When you are with someone you love and have the time to be completely present, put your phone away. Let the presence of the other person wash over you. Listen to them. I believe having set times where you turn off your phone can bring new life to your relationship.

 

  1. If you are posting to prove something, don’t: We need to be discerning of when to post and when not to. I think there can be real damage done if don’t step back and understand our intentions behind what we are posting. For example, we cannot let the amount of ‘likes’ we get on a post determine our worth or be consumed with what other people think. Social media can be a great way to express ourselves and share our experiences with others; we just can’t let it define who we are.

 

  1. Don’t let Instagram fool you: Our Social Media and Program Coordinator, Julia, wrote a wonderful article about this very thing. It’s a reminder that no relationship is always as happy, beautiful or funny as it seems on Instagram. We can’t let what we see on social media cloud us with unrealistic expectations because it will always leave us comparing and unhappy. You are an individual and your specific relationship won’t look like anyone else’s. Celebrating your relationship means accepting the beautiful and the messy alike.

Selfie – Word For a Generation

It came as no surprise that the word for this year is “selfie.” As in, taking a picture of yourself and posting it on whatever form of social media that is your preference, facebook, twitter, and/or instagram. In a decade that has continually become more narcissistic and ME has become bigger then WE the “selfie” is just another reminder of the world we live in.

The “selfie” doesn’t just stop with pictures on a website or social media. It has invaded every aspect of our life. The way we digest church and theology. If we don’t like it we move on or throw it out. The way we watch sports. Small plays are made to seem HUGE after we watch a celebration for a simple tackle. It has even impacted the way we think about relationships. We look for what is in it for me.

At first glance you might think this would have nothing to do with the work we do with Project Six19, which aims to promote biblical sexuality. It has a tremendous influence on the message we share. Here are 3 quick thoughts on how this works:

First, when we are so focused on our self we can easily forget about the one that created the self. We are all made in the image of the one that created us but it is not so we turn our attention upon us but rather turn our attention towards others. In fact, in Scripture when sex is first implied it is about being known…not about being seen. This would imply that it has more to do with others then the self.

Second, the biblical attitude towards sex and sexuality is always in the context of obedience. It is not restrictive in the sense of “no” but it is an attitude that reflects the beauty of the gift that God created and our desire to honor Him rather than just making it about a list of rules. When we turn inward and become more focused on the ME part of that equation then obedience becomes a lower priority.

Finally, the “selfie” perpetuates an already lonely society that looks for ways to be found in a culture that is lost. In the book “Alone Together” author Sherry Turkle argues that technology has become the architect for our intimacies. Online, we fall prey to the illusion of companionship, gathering thousands of Twitter and Facebook friends and confusing tweets and wall posts with authentic communication and relationship. That will never lead to us being found….only more lost.

My hope is that the “selfie” turns into a search for the one that created the self. In Him we will find our true beauty and an intimacy that could never be matched anywhere else.