Social media reminds me of the fire-breathing dragon from Shrek. With new sites gaining popularity every day, social media oozes the intimidation factor…that is until you subdue it with your discipline and your wisdom. In other words, you bring your donkey. (Remember how the dragon became putty in Shrek’s hands as soon as the big purple scaly thing fell for the donkey?)
(Those who haven’t seen Shrek are scratching their heads saying, “Where is she going with this one?”)
Keep reading. I promise I’ll lead you somewhere.
In this time of social media, knowledge, heck, information in general (doesn’t always fall in the category of knowledgeable) spreads like dragon-breathed fire. Because of this, a few things concerning love, your love, your passion become paramount in the process of discerning what to focus on and what to click away from.
What is it that excites you when you wake up? Are you a mom? A writer? A photographer? An abolitionist? You love something. You’re passionate about something.
Because of social media you’ve found networks to connect with, people who share your passion. This is good. But like so many good things in life, social media has another side to its coin.
Today I’m going to explore the blessings and the curses of social media in our time. And how it impacts that calling, that love of yours.
Here’s something to ask yourself: Would you still feel as fervently about ________________ (your answer to the above) if every single social media site vanished tomorrow?
Take a moment to strip away all potential for online connection and you are left with ________________.
In other words, there must be something intrinsically valuable to you about what you love that no bad review, no shunning, no comparison trap, no unpredictable fluctuation in the market can take away.
We are wise to learn how to tap into the blessings of social media while not allowing ourselves to get tripped up by the curses.
Let’s do a little blessing/curse 101 review:
Social media has completely changed the way people interrelate and showcase their talents. Folks can interact with the potential to impact a worldwide audience. It’s convenient. It’s visual. Conversations are readily stirred to life.
Access to information has become fabulously available at our fingertips. Word of mouth and platform building are not only made possible through social media sites, but they are fueled by online exchange. Most of all, relationships can seed and develop in these venues.
The true Flotsam & Jetsam spurned from social media are distraction and comparison. Your love has the potential to be knocked down and burnt down quicker than you can say dragon 1, human 0 when you aren’t careful with your time online.
Social media sites are often void of accountability, making it easier to evade depth and transparency.
It’s easy to become ensnared by a dangerous addiction to praise or an avoidance of criticism while navigating the murky waters of the web.
In the attempt to feed your passion by connecting with others, you may actually be starving it unaware. Online activity has a way of creating a false plumpness when the reality is your time spent actually mothering, writing, taking photos, or volunteering has dwindled down to that of a Slim Jim.
So, what’s the best way to bring your donkey when it comes to these blessings and curses? How do we remain wise and discerning in order to feed our love?
I think the following verses communicate the answer:
“Do not neglect your gift.” 1 Timothy 4:14
“Live creatively, friends. Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.” Galatians 1a, 4-5 (Message) (thanks Wendy Lawton for pointing this verse out in a recent Books & Such blog post)
Remember to bring your donkey, folks!
*Warning: this post challenges you to live prayerfully, with discernment. It’s only for those open to growth.
**picture by stockXCHNG
***blogging rock star author celebrated on my FB writer page today