We interrupt your usual flow of informative, highly valuable technological advice for something a bit more personal.
In its place, I’d like to offer some thoughtful words about social medial, the holidays, and how we can encourage mental health.
Is Loneliness the Problem?
The holidays are a “lonely” time, the saying goes, but is it really? Is it lonely? Perhaps for some, who for whatever reason cannot spend this time with their families, but for others, I think it might be a crowded time.
A time crowded with expectations and unfair comparisons.
A time crowded with stress, extra expenditures, and a whole host of other concerns that may loom large only in your own eyes but looms large all the same.
Social media is a lot of fun, but when all you see is how amazing your friends are at celebrating, all of a sudden your holiday festivities feel that much more dismal and…shall we say, “Charlie Brown-ey?”
And this is where I want to caution you. When we get pulled into playing another round of the Comparison Game, we always end up losing. We can’t compare someone’s social media life with our real one.* There life is certainly not as perfect as it might seem, and who’s to say that the source of their “blessings” is God and not a high-interested credit card?
It isn’t easy to ignore disparities between you and your friends, and maybe you’re not despairing over their new car but the fact that they can actually afford a car while you’re stuck walking or riding the bus. I get it that many have a real reason to decry the financial imbalances of our world. My statement to those people is that, while justified, it isn’t effective. Nothing good comes from shaking our fists at either our Facebook feed or debit account. Instead, let’s bow our heads in prayer:
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”
1 Timothy 6:6-8
Let’s consciously work toward contentment. From there, we can ask God to help meet our needs, leaving our wants to His discretion. God, through the scriptures, would have us look to Him more than we look longingly at the lives of others. How much more so at this time of the year?
Be blessed. Have a happy Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!
*That’s a paraphrase of something Jon Acuff posted on Facebook a few months ago.