With all the devices and social media sites we have today to help us stay connected, why do so many of us still feel isolated and alone? I have a theory about that! We live in a world where many who post on those sites are quick to report the negative and exploit others’ sorrow and loss. Many young adults think of family and friends as those people who like their page or follow them on Facebook and Instagram. Not that those people cannot be friends, but it’s essential to have face-to-face friends as well.
When our family and community only consist of online acquaintances, we forget the wonders of physical contact and the importance of a warm embrace. The impact of social media on young adults is incredibly influential. Instead of making friends through everyday activities or church, the “so-called” friends of many young adults are people who bully and abuse them online. Those who experience emotional or actual physical damage when they were merely trying to connect and make friends often resort to spending time with the only person they feel can genuinely be trusted—themselves!
Those who believe what social media followers tell them might have a mistaken self-perception based on false information. Taking in all the comments on social media can make you feel like you’re not quite good enough, smart enough, or pretty enough to be accepted in a society that displays perfection as the norm. Know this, though; the only perfect love is the love of God. The only perfect person is Jesus, and you don’t have to go on social media sites to talk to Him.
It seems like this whole social media craze has caused us to lose our sense of community, our ability to connect and communicate in person. We rarely enjoy the excitement of sharing our day with family around the dining room table or giving our neighbors a friendly wave and cheery hello. Instead, we depend on devices to connect us as we sit alone in our rooms. Family stories that would have made us laugh or uplift us no longer play the vital part they once did in our childhood. Instead, today’s busy parents communicate with their children through many well-meaning texts, offering apologies for why they couldn’t make it to the game or recital.
It saddens me to say this, but we have depended on social media moguls to provide parental oversight and advice to our children. Unfortunately, their intentions are not always for the best. If these mega-media founders were honest, they would admit that their goal isn’t to make you or your children feel connected but to make their companies more money. You might want to ask yourself: Did I actually feel like I was being social when I last scrolled online or did I feel more isolated and alone?
There is a way to combat feelings of loneliness and isolation, though. Cut down on your online browsing time, and don’t believe everything you read or see. Refuse to be imprisoned as an online addict. Create a new community with God as your focus. Scripture says, (Psalm 68: 6 NASB) God makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity, only the rebellious dwell in a parched land. God is your loving Heavenly Father, and he tells us in (Deuteronomy 31:6 NASB) to Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Put your faith in God. Ask Him to show you the love and belonging that you find missing in your life. Loneliness and isolation are tools of the enemy to separate you from God. Claim the love, strength, and power God freely gives as permanent protection from the feelings that you are not enough. When you pray and get intimate with God and fellowship with other believers, you will soon gain a whole new family to encourage and uplift you.