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When I was in college, I would go on Instagram and compare myself to others. I’d compare their profile to mine, note whether or not they followed me back and compare how many more likes they had than I did. I reached a point where I would hardly post anything because I feared it wouldn’t get enough likes. When I did post something, I became fixated on how many likes it got. I wanted people to see how “cool” my life was.
Getting Instagram likes gave me a feeling of acceptance. But it was inconsistent and temporary. Worrying about likes, followers and comments left me feeling empty.
One day, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed, and I thought, “Imagine if I prayed as much as I got on Instagram.” Without hesitating, I deleted the app from my phone and decided to take a break from social media for a week.
That was easier decided than done.
The hardest times were the moments when I’d be waiting somewhere. I felt awkward without a feed to scroll through. But, I moved through the awkwardness by reminding myself to pray every time I had the urge to go on social media.
God filled the empty spaces. He filled me with satisfaction and joy.
After that week, I went back to using social media. But it wasn’t the same. I could tell almost immediately when I was looking for it to fill something.
Comparing myself to others on social media is still a struggle sometimes, but since I took that break, it’s been a lot easier to look to God to fill me up again.
Because there’s so much happening around us all time the time, it can be easy to forget that God is what fills us up.
Maybe you’re not trying to fill the void with social media. Perhaps you fill it up in other ways like binge-watching Netflix, retail therapy, being successful or something else. Think about how you fill yourself up when you feel empty. Try taking a break and see what God fills you with.
Finding a lasting sense of value and self-worth is a challenge we all face. Where do you think your value comes from?
We all find our identities in different places — name, race, country of origin, job, religion and so on. Here's a simple experiment to help you find your true identity.
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