I was quite shaken up, this past weekend, to learn about the death of a South African rap superstar. This young man was gunned down at the tender age of 35, leaving behind a grieving family and a distraught fan base. Had the circumstance been a less morbid one, I would crack a joke here because what I know about rap music is equivalent to my 3-year-old’s knowledge of Quantum Physics. In fact, I can’t even name any of this artist’s songs (I’m a 40-year-old mother of 5 ok). But the loss of this young talent shook me.
I found myself engrossed in the details of his life and his untimely death as I scroll through social media posts, devouring any piece of information that I could find. I honestly couldn’t help myself – it was like a really bad accident scene where you want to look away, but you can’t.
By Saturday evening, after consuming hours of video footage (yes, I went there, smh) and articles, social media tributes and Tik Tok speculation videos, I decided that I had seen enough.
The scrolling needed to stop.
It was affecting my mental health and it, quite honestly, left me feeling a little bit triggered. Can you relate? Have you ever wandered down a social media rabbit hole, and came out on the other side a little bit more depressed and hopeless? Well, that’s exactly how I felt. #realtalk
After putting my phone down, I tried to evaluate where my headspace was at. I could immediately acknowledge that my social media binge had opened me up to a spirit of heaviness.
It reminded me of a picture that I once saw, that likened the windows of a building, to eyes.
I mean, think about it. The Bible says that the eyes are the windows to the soul.
How many times have you heard people say things like: “I’ll never forget what I saw”; “What I saw next has haunted me” or “I’ll never forget the look on her face” etc. These are all statements proving that what the eye sees, the mind/heart remembers.
I sometimes find myself completely aghast at some of the things I see on social media.
I mean, don’t worry, I’m safe. I’ve totally shut the “front door” (my heart) to the evil things of this world, so it cannot affect me. Right? I just want to see. I don’t want to partake.
But, here’s the thing, if I’m still peering at it through windows, because I have FOMO and want a first-hand account, am I really that safe?
We forget that, while the door shuts out the physical danger, peering through windows causes spiritual and psychological trauma. And, one could argue, therein lies the real danger. The windows control how much light/darkness enters the home.
And anyways, while a front door is important, a burglar probably won’t use the door to access a building.
It made me think: What am I peering at through my windows? Is it edifying me? Is it stealing my peace and joy? Is it adding truth to my life or is it making me familiar with a lie? Is it leaving me in a better condition, or worse?
If what you consume (read/watch) every day can be seen as an investment, what type of earnings/profit/outcome are you expecting to reap in return?
The truth is that, while social media may have a lot of wonderful perks, we sometimes just don’t have the necessary control functions needed to put our phones down. We sometimes just can’t look away.
But, here’s the thing: when we choose to focus on God, He empowers us in our weakness. God promises to give us strength when it’s hard to do the right thing. He says that he will empower us when we stumble and will renew our hope when we find ourselves in a pit of despair. I mean, that is the wonderful reward we reap from investing our time into Him!
And while I can’t promise you that I will give up scrolling through social feeds entirely, I am definitely more intent on fixating my eyes on Him and not on the things of this world.
He makes it easier to look away.
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” — Isaiah 40:29-31