"I can't look at Pinterest anymore. I can never live up to those standards."
"I'm so sick of the posts on Facebook that make me feel like my life isn't enough."
"Who is she kidding? She's hardly the 'World's Greatest Mom' but she sure tries to look like it on Facebook."
"Reconnecting with [insert old flame here] on Facebook pushed me into an affair."
"Facebook is such a time suck. I waste hours scrolling through my newsfeed."
I read a blog post recently that said something along the lines of: "90% of people cite Facebook as the cause of their divorce."
I cannot speak to the accuracy of that statistic, but I have heard this reasoning from a lot from people in my own circles.
And hearing that always hits me wrong.
I have some very good friends who choose to abstain from social media for reasons that are valid and important to them. Kudos to them for taking a stand and safeguarding their relationship.
Believing that your relationship is safeguarded solely because you are not involved in social media seems like only part of the puzzle.
Can Facebook/Twitter/Snap Chat/Google+ really cause anything?
I look at social media as amoral, like money.
In my thinking, if you are going to get a divorce or have an affair, you'll find a way to make it happen.
(And I think it's important to note that I have a previous spouse who used social media to be unfaithful to me.)
Can social media make access to others easier and help facilitate building relationships we shouldn't?
Can Facebook make you exchange messages with someone other than your spouse, building an inappropriate, emotional relationship that shouldn't be there?
Can Facebook make you have a clandestine meeting, remove your clothes, and participate in an intimate relationship?
So, while Facebook and the like can most certainly make having an affair easier or more accessible, it cannot cause the affair.
An affair comes from something inside of you. A desire. Something "missing" that you are looking to fill with someone else.
I think it's so important that we take responsibility for our own actions.
No more saying Pinterest and Facebook make us "feel" a certain way or "act" a certain way.
We have a choice as to what we feel, think and do.
Made in God's image, we are powerful. We are given brilliant minds and access to the King of kings and the Almighty. We have a choice as to what we act on. We have a direct line to all the strength we could possibly need to endure and get out from under any temptation. (1 Cor 10:13). So let's not cast ourselves as victims by saying Facebook "caused" us to have an affair or to bully someone or to feel "less than" because of what other people post.
Do you think staying away from these things will help safeguard your marriage or your heart? Do you feel God has placed that on your heart to aid in protecting you?
By all means, do!
But please, please stop using anything other than what is inside of you as the impetus for sin.
It's true that we face many temptations every day; some from inside of ourselves and some placed in front of us to trip us up, but we always, always have a choice as to whether or not we act on them.
See something on Pinterest that makes you feel like you don't measure up as a mom or wife?
Realize that your worth does not come from a website, a person or any other place but God.
"Let's just go ahead and and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren't." (Romans 12:2-3, MSG)
Are you married or in a relationship and have you "reconnected" with someone or met someone new on Facebook and you're feeling the pull to deepen the relationship?
Realize that you have options. You can tell your spouse, and remove the "secrecy" factor. You can tell the other party in no uncertain terms that you are not interested, you can block that person, and you can even go so far as to deactivate your account.
Be honest about the thoughts in the back of your mind--those whisperings that are so quiet that you almost can't hear them and they're easy to block out. Even a freight train sounds like just a hum when it's far off. As it gets closer, the noise gradually grows louder, and before you know it, it's upon you.
Logging off Facebook may lessen accessibility, but it will not address whatever it is in your heart that put the desire there in the first place.
Only an honest conversation with God can do that.
"Open up before God. Keep nothing back. He'll do whatever needs to be done." (Psalm 37:5, MSG).
Facebook isn't the enemy.
Your friend who posts pictures of her beautiful [seemingly perfect] family isn't the enemy.
The guy who posts about one vacation after another while your strapped to a cubicle 40 hours a week, isn't the enemy.
The woman who showcases one fantastic recipe or Vogue-worthy outfit after another isn't the enemy.
We have a common enemy. And it's his job to make sure we point the blame everywhere but where it should be.
"Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you." (Matthew 5:48, MSG)