Letter from the Editor: Social media challenge


It recently came to my attention that I would like to see more “everyday” moments on social media. I’d like to see more of my friends who aren’t getting engaged, graduating, starting new relationships or having huge milestones about finding God in their “everyday” lives fill up my social media.

What does it mean, after all, to be living an “everyday” life? It means, to some degree at least, that you’re living the life God has called you to live. That’s nothing to scoff at, and we should take time more often to highlight the extraordinary gift of being able to live an “everyday” life.

Now, I get that we are all tired of being told about the evils of social media. Many of us being college students, we’ve been counseled over and over again against procrastination, and we’ve been told that our worth and identity do not come from how many “likes” or comments we get on a post.

I’m not going to ask how long you spend on Instagram and Facebook per day. That’s not my business, and I trust that you’re fighting your own battles with procrastination and discovering your identity.

Here’s what I want to ask you: How do you spend your time on social media?

We talk about being intentional during real life conversations with our friends and family. We scold people who are on their phones and not actively listening to those around them.

What about the people I see scrolling through their Instagram feeds, liking every picture but spending a grand total of one second looking at it? Do they even see who is in the picture? Do they take the time to appreciate the filter their friend put on it or the possibly cheesy caption or inspirational quote that the friend took a long time finding? Why is it that posts without pictures get seen less, even if they’re more important?

The question is: Do we take the time or do we waste the time? If we’re spending the time on social media anyway, why not make that time really intentional? Examine the picture—is it artsy? Does it remind you of the glory of God by the beauty of nature or friendship? What new truth or beauty does this show us about our friend who posted it?

We’ve become so busy scrolling through news feeds that we defeat the very purpose of social media: to stay updated on each other’s lives, to share one another’s daily joys and sorrows.

Here is my challenge: firstly, get on social media only once a day, twice if you have to, and take just 10 minutes to truly look at what your friends are posting. See into their lives through their pictures or their words. Make it about quality, not quantity.

Remember what people are going through, and talk to them about it when you see them. All of us appreciate knowing that people actually care about what we take the time and courage to post on social media for all to see.

Secondly, post more often about the “everyday” joys and faithfulness of God. There can never be too many inspiring words or too much beauty to contribute to today’s media.

Then get off and go about the rest of your day with a prayer in your heart for your friends close by and your friends far away.