Coping With Social Media Anxiety | Stop Measuring Your Worth in Likes

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It’s truth time my friends. Who has ever struggled with coping with social media anxiety? It’s such a prevalent issue this day and age, however, society is just now starting to really recognize the depth of social media’s impact on self-worth. Honestly, it’s frightening to me. As a thirty something mom who has struggled with this I can only imagine the impact it will have on my children as they grow older and enter this social media world full of comparison and a staged portrayal of life.

That’s why I want to start talking about it here. This is a place for real talk so I hope that you are at least encouraged today that you are not alone.

Disclaimer: I am in no way a professional counselor nor do I hold medial degrees for mental health. I am simply a fellow human looking to provide encouragement to you. If you are struggling with depression or severe anxiety I would encourage you to seek professional help in the absence of a support system. 

Have you ever struggled with anxiety over social media? How many followers do I have? How many likes did I get? Why are other people's lives so perfect and happy? Today I want to talk about coping with social media anxiety in the context of God's unfailing love and how to stop measuring your worth in likes.

Coping With Social Media Anxiety | The Problem

As a blogger I spend a significant amount of time on social media. It is an amazing way to connect with my audience, to be encouraged by fellow bloggers, and to connect with friends around the world. It is also a drain on my self-worth. And, simply from observation, I can tell that it is a drain on others as well.

Social media is this amazing dichotomy of being something that can suck the life out of me while simultaneously sparking creativity and joy.”

Have you experienced this? One moment you are inspired and enjoying your scroll and the next you are comparing yourself to others, worrying about why people aren’t “liking” your photos or angry that you don’t seem to measure up.

You aren’t alone.

Almost daily I read other’s captions on social media where they are crying out for love.

“I don’t know if you’re seeing this but give me some love in the comments!”

“It seems Instagram has buried my photo so I’m posting this again.”

“I’m taking a break from posting because it’s causing my anxiety to be too much to bear.”

Comparison: The Thief of Joy

I’ve also had friends, people who I know in person, tell me that they’ve hidden my feed because they couldn’t handle seeing my happy vacation photos while they were unable to afford a vacation themselves. I’ve had friends abandon social media altogether because the temptation to compare was too intense.

Guys! This is a real problem!

Have you ever struggled with anxiety over social media? How many followers do I have? How many likes did I get? Why are other people's lives so perfect and happy? Today I want to talk about coping with social media anxiety in the context of God's unfailing love and how to stop measuring your worth in likes.

Coping with Social Media Anxiety | The Solution

If you’ve read any of my other Monday Musings of Grace, then you know that I am a Christian. Self-worth is not a topic I’ve chosen to shy away from because I think it is one of the most prevalent issues in our world today. Here are a few musings that might encourage you before I continue on.

So, we all know that social media anxiety is a real problem. Whether you’ve experienced it personally or not, you can see its effects in others and all over the news. We have the knowledge of the problem, but what can we do about it?

What Really Matters? | Resetting Our Thinking

Let me ask you a question I’ve asked myself many times. Why does the opinion of others matter to you? Why do you care if a photo or post becomes popular? Is it because you use social media for business and it’s important to gain exposure? Is it because you are proud of what you’ve posted and want others to validate those feelings? Is it because you want to appear put together when real life feels like it’s falling apart?

Whatever the reason, and many of them are valid reasons, we have to stop ourselves and ask what should matter rather than what does matter.

We must intentionally reset our thinking with each interaction with social media to avoid tying stats to self-worth.”

Let social media be what it is. A platform for connecting with other flawed, flailing, imperfect human beings. Don’t let social media become your God.

Recognize the Power of the Spirit. Both of Them.

Your worth is not measured by what others think of you or what your social media stats say.

Plain and simple.

Society will tell you that I’m wrong. Your feelings will not jive with that. My own thoughts even conflict with that statement sometimes. But all of those feelings, thoughts, and even people who tell you differently, are all attacks from the spirit of this world. (Aka: Satan, just to be clear.)

For GOD gave us a spirit, not of fear, but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7″

I’ve often dwelled on this verse because of what it doesn’t say. If God doesn’t give us that spirit of fear that we so often gravitate towards, then who gives it to us? Satan. So to counteract that ever-present nagging feeling we need to be intentionally living in the spirit of God.

The Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit that lives in the world. 1 John 4:4″

Know Your Worth in Christ

When the world tells us we aren’t good enough, remember that Christ never asks you to be. He never tells us to clean our act up before we come to Him. He came for sinners friends. If we were already perfect and clean and good then what would His sacrifice be for?

No. He came to love us and to be glorified in our redemption.

For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the Lord who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10″

The Bible is filled with stories of imperfect people, crying out over their lack of _____ fill in the blank. Even in Biblical times there were ways that people felt they didn’t stack up, and that was without social media or any form of modern communication or media to make them feel inadequate.

This is not a new problem. It is just a modern mode of communication feeding feelings of inadequacy into us.

So remember, in those moments of anxiety and depression, that you were created by a God who loves you. And you were given a Savior who sacrificed Himself because He loves you. And a helper was sent in the person of the Holy Spirit to guide you through these feelings and issues because He loves you. Do you sense a theme?

God Loves You.

Do you ever ask the question, "Am I Enough?" We have all questioned our self-worth. Let's talk about our worth through the eyes of Christ in today's musing.

Recognize When Enough is Enough

So you’ve gotten this far. You can see that social media, while good in so many ways, is impacting you negatively. You know that God loves you and that you are worthy of so much more than how social media makes you feel. You stay in the Word and you remind yourself of what really matters daily. But it’s still a problem.

I get that. I can’t say that, even after everything I’ve said and all that I believe about God’s love for me, that I don’t still get caught up with how to cope with social media anxiety sometimes. So when it comes to that point, we all have to ask ourselves the question: “When is enough, enough?”

Is it time to shut it down? Do you need to take a step back? Delete your apps? Abstain from posting or scrolling for a determined length of time? Liberate yourself from the temptation to compare?

Then do it!

Take a break and see how the weight lifts.

Will you lose followers? Maybe.

Will it matter? Probably not.

You matter. Your self-perception matters. Your love for the life God has given you MATTERS. Your love for others matters and the ability to feel that love instead of jealousy taking over, matters.

So cut the cord. Maybe you’ll come back to it and maybe you won’t. I have taken several breaks from social media and I have never felt like my life was lacking in some way. Instead, I always return refreshed, with a better perspective on what truly matters in this life.

So if you’re struggling with this then:

  1. Know that you aren’t alone
  2. Reset your thinking about what matters in life
  3. Recognize the power that Christ gives you with His Spirit to overcome
  4. Know that you are loved by the everlasting God
  5. Recognize when enough is enough, and take action

Sarah Signature

{The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23}

18 Comments

  1. I’m not a “pro” blogger nor IGer so I can’t say I have the issues you mentioned. If my livelihood was affected by those things, it might begin to. I’m thankful for all the IGers/bloggers who have taught me so much DIY and patiently answered questions. What you do is a full time job!

  2. Thank you so much. I am so grateful to have read this today. I struggle with being enough all the time. Thank you & have a blessed day!

  3. I absolutely L O V E D this. As a brand new blogger & a brand new mom I find myself comparing my life to other successful women (moms, bloggers, home decor, all of the above?) Thank you so much Sarah, for opening up your heart & sharing what God placed in it! Xo

  4. It was such a joy to read your inspired words, Sarah…every one resonates so deep. Thank you for acting on the Lord’s gentle prompting to share here and for having the courage to speak His truth in love. These words are wise and are so good for the soul…no matter our level of faith or level of struggle with this. Indeed, we are His an He loves the very thought of us. So humbling, but when I truly believe that, it makes me free to be me…living only to please an audience of One! ?? ?

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and your heart, dear Sarah! You are a true blessing! What a wonderful reminder of where our true worth comes from!

  6. What a wonderfully written post, and spot on for what’s going on in our world today. I’m currently reading Max Lucado “Anxious for Nothing , finding calm in a chaotic world” and he speaks of this very problem in our society. I only recently started following Instagram stories and I found out very quickly how easy it is to get sucked in. Your post just reminds me of the “big picture” and what’s really important, thank you. On a side note……I do find myself amazed at how much darn work you get done in a day and I wonder why I can’t have a work ethic like yours..lol.. So I do compare, but you are a motivator for me to get some projects done?. God Bless

    1. Aww thank you Tammy! I’ll give you a little hint into my madness. I go like gangbusters for a couple weeks at a time and then I go through burn out and take a break. 😉 It’s definitely not how I want to work so while you may admire it, I find that I need to figure out how to balance myself better. You just keep going at your pace! It’s probably more healthy than mine anyway!

  7. Sarah,

    Thank you for taking the time to write this. It’s important to recognize that social media can cause anxiety, become burdensome and at times a theif of joy. I often remind myself of why I started a blog and Instagram, which is to share my own talents in hopes it will inspire others. I hope we can all take time to reflect and recognize when we’re overwhelmed by social media and make those necessary changes. Thank you again, this was a beautifully written post…

    Best,

    Amy @therockinghorsefarmhouse

    1. I so agree Amy! I’m so glad that this could be another reminder for you. Keep doing what you’re doing and I hope you find great enjoyment in it!

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