Social Media Robs Us Of Healthy Authenticity, Belonging, And Community
ROOTS OF ANXIETY
1) Social media robs us of healthy authenticity, belonging, and community
Constant engagement in the world of social media promises an escape from the reality of the challenging world in which we live. Our culture has pandemicly bought into the illusion that online, virtual connection, conversation, and community will bring the peace and joy into our lives that every human being longs for. Yet when that promised place of wholeness remains elusive, we are compulsively driven to become even more “connected”, in hopes of finding emotional belonging with an increasing number of online friends; to present the appearance of being increasingly more “competent” than we really are, in hopes of finally feeling respected by others; and to become progressively more outwardly “perfect” in hopes of eventually gaining the approval and acceptance that the real world cannot provide.
In today’s world, we’re seeing what happens when an entire culture has spent limitless hours each day avoiding emotional, relational, and social discomfort. Virtual friends replace honest, intimate relationships. Performance-based acceptance replaces unconditional love and belonging. And the pursuit of perfection clouds the ability to experience grace, mercy, and forgiveness amidst our human shortcomings.
Functioning in this world of pretentiousness and performance over time will rob an individual of the freedom to be uniquely themselves — imperfect, but perfectly made in our imperfections. And at the core of human anxiety is the progressive loss of our God-given, inborn, unique identity.