That Time I Disabled My Instagram

Happy 2017 to the few people that read this blog! 2016 was a doozy. I know a lot of people will say this, but I know it meant a lot to me personally. Every area of my life seemed to be going through the thresher. God had a lot of sifting to do.

Every year, I feel like God tackles another idol in my life. Though I may go through a lot of threshing in a year, there is always that one specific area of my life that needs extra attention.

Last year was my love life. I thought I had surrendered that part of my life to God, but by the time 2016 came to an end, I realized I had only been fooling myself. God somehow got me through it and has shown me that trusting Him in this area of my life is beautiful. He’s on the other side of it. Praise the Lord! I do feel like I’m in a much better place and can honestly say that I trust Him. He’s big enough to do what I am always trying to manipulate.

Anyways, I couldn’t possibly imagine what God would have in store for me for 2017 when it felt like every area of my life has already been tackled. But of course that isn’t true.

Last week, I had an epiphany. I was supposed to be doing a million things at work, but instead of doing those things, I decided to click on my data and go on instagram. When I finished browsing, I realized that I had not only wasted my valuable time, but I had LITERALLY paid to do it. Data ain’t free y’all. Every month, I pull out the cash and give it to someone just so I can go on social media. What a waste of my life and my money!

Instagram has been a gigantic waste of my life. Sure, it’s gotten people to like me. Sure, I’ve been able to share some pretty cool pics with friends, family, and strangers. But is this all life is about? Getting people to like you and notice you? Reminds me of this verse:

Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”

Genesis 11:4

When I do try to do something productive, like encourage people, or build my “brand” (which is basically myself) it feels like I’m only doing it so people will notice me and think I’m such a nice person. So basically, social media has been all about me.

I don’t know when the obsession with myself happened, but it did. I couldn’t stand not checking my instagram every couple of hours. I knew exactly when I was going to post specific photos at specific times. I had notes in my phone dedicated to captions I’d like to write in the future (how embarrassing is that?). I felt anxiety when I’d post a picture, hoping that a certain someone would see it and think I was cool. I told myself that I was just doing it for ministry and to promote my website/YouTube channel, when really I know I was just doing it to promote MYSELF.

But after spending hours editing selfies, trying to find the right captions, and obsessively scanning “likes,” I feel like it is time to give it up.

So today, I disabled my instagram. Even though I’m still living in Korea. Even though I am going to Vietnam THIS Saturday and will probably go crazy not posting pictures every day. I have no idea for how long this change will be and I know it all sounds very crisis-like but I felt like it was worth mentioning because it feels like a big deal to me. And this is a blog where I share what’s going on.

Don’t get me wrong, I love instagram. I know I’ll be back. But maybe that’s part of the problem. I love it too much.

I’ve only been off the grid for three days and am already feeling withdrawals. When I wake up, where do I turn to if not my phone? When I see a beautiful landscape, am I supposed to just LOOK AT IT? Does it even exist if you don’t capture it on a screen? I don’t know. But these are questions I’m willing to ask because I think I know one of the idols God is going to make me tackle this year — and that is the idolatry of myself.

Because I love myself. And sometimes I hate myself. I love to hate myself. But at the end of the day, it’s always about myself.

Enough is enough.

This is going to be hard. I know some of you are probably rolling your eyes at me thinking this is just another one of my “things.” And so what if it is?

Yet, being off instagram for 3 days has already begun to show me how broken I am. Why do I feel like I need the constant approval from others that instagram provides? Why do I feel like I need to be noticed? What does a life outside of being “relevant” look like? What about people that don’t have instagram? Are they lesser people because of it?

I just thought I’d mention these thoughts because it’s the new year and I need something to distract me from going on instagram.

So there you have it.

What idols would you like to see come crashing down this 2017?

P.S. This song has really meant a lot to me in 2016, and I think it fits PERFECTLY with this post:

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