I love social media. I really do! There are so many benefits of social media. We can stay connected with friends. We can watch what’s going on in the world. We can lend our voice to important conversations happening in our culture. We can even post a few photos of our own lives. And on and on I could go!
But the sad reality is that social media does have a severe psychological drawback.
I’m sure “narcissism” isn’t a word you use every day, but I’m 100% confident that you encounter it in some form or fashion every time you walk into school, scroll through your social media feed, or perhaps even when you look into a mirror or take a photo of yourself. Trust me, narcissism is everywhere.
Narcissism — Excessive interest with yourself and/or your appearance; excessive self-love; a deep need for admiration.
“Narcissism” is a Greek word taken from the name of the mythological character Narcissus, who fell in love with his own image and was doomed to die because he would not turn away from it.
It might be easy to look at Narcissus and accuse him of being crazy, but he’s not alone. Truth is, we are a culture obsessed with the same thing: ourselves.
We spend absurd amounts of time choosing just the right filter for our selfie.
We refresh our latest post hoping for more likes—more a rmation.
We carefully post photos so it looks like we’re having more fun than we really are. Every life event, big or small, becomes a source of self-promoting content.
We are an increasingly narcissistic people.
But the issue isn’t social media. The issue is our hearts.
You see, at its core, narcissism is simply pride. Narcissism feeds the idea that you are the most important person in the room. Pride says that your story is the greatest story to be told. Pride is taking glory that belongs to God, and giving it to yourself.
But the story of Jesus isn’t the story of narcissism or pride. Philippians 2 reveals the life of Jesus. It was one of humility and selflessness that pointed others to the Father.
Have I mentioned that I love social media? Because I really do. But the devastating reality is that social media exposes our hearts, and creates a world where narcissism and pride consumes us.
But what would happen if we took the position of Jesus in our social world? What would happen if we used our social media accounts as a tool of humility and selfessness to point others to the Father instead of ourselves?
WRITTEN BY: BRADEN COLLUM
3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. 5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. 6 Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. 7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
30 [Jesus] must become greater; I must become less.
- Why do you think our hearts are naturally inclined to be self-centered and prideful? What example did Jesus give us to live by instead?
- Why do you think social media plays such a large role in our narcissism and self-centeredness?
- Read Matthew 5:3. What does it mean to be “poor in spirit”? Why would the people “poor in spirit” be blessed and have the kingdom of heaven?
- Read John 3:30. How different would your life look if this was your motto? How different would your social media accounts look?