2020 has proven to be an overwhelming year. So much is happening, much of it out of our control. I decided to spend the weekend focusing on the things I could control. I was feeling frustrated with wearing masks that left me feeling like someone had a pillow over my face all day, and the continuous limitations placed on us by pandemic bylaws and provincial regulations. There was nothing I could do about this, but what I could control was the amount of time I spent on social media.
I asked myself what activities I could engage in that didn’t include social media; there were plenty.
I know a number of people say that social media is necessary during this time due to restricted in person contact. That might sound reasonable on the surface, but limiting social media isn’t about removing yourself from necessary online contact like work and school, virtual family visits, and keeping in touch with friends.
Limiting social media or taking social media breaks are about not taking in too much distressing news, and about not relying on social media to keep us distracted. I didn’t enjoy scrolling through my Facebook feed and seeing endless posts about people being shot, murdered, and killed; corrupt politicians, arguments about wearing masks, and conspiracy theories that made me question the intelligence of people I have known for years. When you are constantly bombarded by distressing news and information you eventually tune out and when that happens you risk not caring about things that matter in this world. You become desensitized to corruption, brutality, and injustice.
Something else that I’ve noticed during this pandemic is the level of envy and jealousy being expressed in comment sections. It’s alright for Jane and John Doe to have a good time during this season of upheaval. If they are the lucky ones who have been able to keep their jobs and maintain the same lifestyle pre-pandemic, let them enjoy themselves. Things may be rough for you right now, but trust and have faith that with time things will change. The job market and economy won’t always be bad.
Stay focused on being thankful for what you do have; sometimes it’s hard to feel thankful when you are struggling and need assistance; but an angry, bitter, and jealous heart makes difficult times even worse.
“If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else,…” Galatians 6: 3-4
Who you are as a child of God has nothing to do with your job status, bank account balance, or social status. Excess social media during troubling times does not build you up, instead it can easily bring you down; this is why finding things to do off line is so important during times like this.
I’m sharing with you a list from the website Cultivate What Matters. It has some great and simple ideas about what you can do instead of spending too much time online.
46 Productive Things to Do Instead of Scrolling Social Media (2018)