Six Warning Signs Social Media May Be Distancing You From God

Jan 17, 2022 | Blogs

Do you want to be liked? Or do you want to be loved? 

Social media has become a ubiquitous fact of life for most people. Its influence is nearly inescapable, even for people who are wholeheartedly dedicated to God and following the path of Jesus. 

But social media is also a tool. And like any tool, it can be used for good or bad. For followers of Jesus, social media represents a choice: Will we use it to become closer to God and love other people? Or are we using it for other, less-than-pure purposes? 

We’re not here to tell you social media is evil and will drag your post-loving soul into the depths of hell. But there are serious dangers to social media that each one of us needs to be aware of — if for no other reason than it steals our focus away from God, the one who loves us and gives us every good thing in our lives. 

If you’re wondering whether social media is pulling you closer to God or pushing you farther away, take an honest look at these six warning signs. 

Warning Sign #1: The first thing you do in the morning is check your social media. 

Do you wake up at the crack of dawn singing praise songs and reading your Bible and praying for an hour before eating breakfast? If you’re like most people, that’s not your morning routine. 

There are a lot of positive things you can do to start your day, but jumping straight into your social media isn’t one of them. It’s an activity that often fuels the negative influences in your life — including depression and anxiety. 

Research shows that social media has become one of the primary contributors to poor mental health. While the list of things that can distance us from God is a near-endless one, social media has taken its place alongside money as one of the worst influences. 

That’s not what God wants for your life. If you’re tired of feeling anxious, worried, or troubled all the time, take a serious look at the time you spend on social media versus the moments you focus on God. 

Warning Sign #2: Your online persona doesn’t match your real-life personality. 

We all know people who are like Jekyll and Hyde when it comes to social media. In person, they can be kind, generous, and empathetic. But behind the online walls of Facebook and Twitter they transform into inconsiderate, rude, even hateful trolls. 

The question to ask yourself is: Might that person be you?

Do you find yourself caring more about being right … or being compassionate? Are you more concerned with choosing a side … or choosing the side of love? Do you get angry and enraged at what you read in your feeds … or does your heart soften at all the signs of hurt and anguish people are going through? 

Being a faithful warrior of God doesn’t mean you’re always looking for a fight. Being a faithful warrior means wearing God’s armor so you can be protected against evil influences, and not being a contributor to evil influences in the lives of others.

Warning Sign #3: Your posts and comments don’t reflect Jesus’ love. 

Jesus’ number-one command calls us to love God and love others — even our enemies. Jesus didn’t say, “Love others … but be sure to get your point across” or “Love others … but don’t let them forget how wrong they are.”

Loving others — being kind, patient, and hopeful with not a hint of pride, anger, or disrespect — ought to be a Christian’s default setting. It’s where Jesus wants us to live, whether in person or online in social media interactions. Anything less is not representing God’s heart of love for others and bringing Him the glory He deserves and desires. 

Next time you’re tempted to dive head first into the comments section, make love your priority. Instead of pointing fingers and typing in ALL CAPS something that gets your ‘righteous’ point across, pause and ask yourself, “Would I feel loved if someone said that to me?” And, am I more interested in being right, or in being in ‘right relationship’ with God and with others?

Warning Sign #4: You’re afraid of “missing out” if you don’t pay close attention to your social media feeds. 

FOMO (fear of missing out) is a very real and quite common form of anxiety. It’s most often associated with social media, as people scroll their feeds for long periods of time making sure they don’t miss something important. 

It’s called a “feed” for a reason: it feeds desires in your life that aren’t typically good for you. 

God’s wonderful plans for your life very likely don’t involve scanning through your phone for hours on end. If you want to reduce stress in your life, one of the first things you should consider is giving up your attachment to social media that feeds your fear of missing out. 

You can easily distance yourself from God when your attention is pulled away to things that don’t truly matter. What you don’t want to miss out on is the joy and fulfillment that God desires you to have in the ‘real world’. The closer you stay to God, the easier it’ll be to see that God doesn’t want you to miss out on the best–an intimate relationship with Him, the Only One Whose viewpoint really matters.

Warning Sign #5: You feel inadequate or envious when on social media sites. 

Have you ever found yourself “fishing” for likes? Do you compare the number of likes for your posts to other people’s? Do you see photos of your friends’ vacations and feel envious? Have you read a colleague’s update about their new job and then felt bad that your career hasn’t taken the same kind of rewarding path? 

It’s unhealthy to be constantly comparing yourself to everyone else. Remember, their posts–like yours– typically capture the happiest moments of life, not the drudgery. Everyone is struggling with something; nobody’s life is perfect. 

Perhaps you are going through some real challenges in your life, yet you feel compelled to put up posts which would lead others to believe your life is ‘picture perfect’. We’re not in any way suggesting you ‘air all of your dirty laundry’ on social media; we are, however, encouraging you to be genuine, thoughtful, and consider whether your posts contribute to a false persona that is designed feed your pride and ego and may stir up envy in others. 

God made you, God values you, and God is ‘the giver of every good and perfect gift’ (James 1:17). He gives you everything you need. The less you fret about the blessings you think you’re missing out on, and instead praise Him for what He has given to you, the closer you’ll feel to God, and the less you’ll be tempted to be envious of what He ‘appears’ to have given to others.

Warning Sign #6: You exhibit signs of addiction to social media. 

Studies have shown that social media can become psychologically addictive for people of all ages. It’s like sitting at a slot machine — you sit mindlessly in front of the screen, pulling the lever again and again, hoping for another “hit” that will give your brain another tiny boost of happiness. It’s hard to imagine anyone feeling close to God in a setting like that. 

Do you spend more than two hours per day on social media sites? Do you stay up late at night scrolling through your feeds? Do you think about social media even when you’re not using it? Has time on social media displaced your other interests or hobbies–especially time with God? 

If you answer yes to any of these questions (or are unsure), you might be addicted. And you may very well have drifted away from a close relationship with God (intentionally or not). 

Addiction of all types has physical, mental, and spiritual side effects that can harm both yourself and those around you. Being addicted to substances or destructive behaviors is not part of God’s plan for our lives. The good news is that God offers us freedom from every sin, including our addiction to social media! 

The only thing worth being “addicted” to is a relationship with God– which comes by knowing Him through His life-changing Word, prayer, and fellowship with others. Once you’re ‘addicted’ to Him, you’ll be consumed with sharing the truth of the gospel and His unfailing love with others who you’ll realize are also desperate for that healthy ‘addiction’ that alone can lead to wholeness, peace, joy, and contentment. 

What can you do to minimize social media’s influence in your life? 

Is social media distancing you from God? Then it might be time for a “digital detox.” Choose a specific amount of time — perhaps start with one day — to take a break from social media. You may wish to take a step at a time– baby steps if necessary– to reduce the amount of time you spend on social media. Or, you may choose to fast a morning, afternoon or evening–or even whole day–once a week, or perhaps even a week a month. Pray and ask the Lord to direct your social media fast; He will equip you to do what He calls you to do. Use the time you’d ordinarily spend on social media spending time in God’s Word and in prayer, and notice the difference in your relationship with the Lord as well as your stress and anxiety level.

In a very real way, it’s a matter of choosing love over likes. Will you be content to settle for a handful of likes for your media posts from people who are far more interested in themselves than in you? Or will you spend your precious, God-given time seeking after Him and embracing the love He longs to–and will– shower upon you if you choose to seek after Him? 

Then [with a deep longing] you will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] and [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13 AMP

Here at True View Ministries, we have lots of resources to help you grow closer to God and overcome the anxiety in your life. Instead of turning to social media, you can faith your fears by spending a few minutes each day reading one of our devotionals. They have an abundance of tips and action steps for reducing stress. 


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