The Impact Of Social Media On Spiritual Growth
Social media is becoming increasingly important to improving all areas of health. In fact, the Keck School of Medicine at USC cites it as the most important new technology that influences public health outreach and awareness, because of its ability to help others connect and share information. As it becomes more and more prevalent, social media has a greater impact on our spiritual health and wellbeing too. While various, if not all, social media platforms have been rightly criticized for their drawbacks, they can also greatly enrich your spiritual life. It may seem counterintuitive, but using social media can actually have a great positive impact on your spiritual growth.
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Contrary to what you may believe, social media and spirituality share many similarities. While defining “spirituality” can be difficult, it is indisputably related to connection, and both social media and spirituality work to help us forge and foster meaningful connections. That’s one of the most beautiful effects of social media and other communication platforms — they allow us to strengthen our ties with friends and family, share insight into our lives with others, and provide an avenue for self-expression.
You get out of social media what you put into it. Showing off how wonderful your life is on social media is not genuine, and others will be able to see that. It is impossible to meaningfully connect with someone if they are not being honest about themselves. But if you use social media with the intention of sharing your true self with others in your life, you can easily forge new, meaningful connections.
You can share your beliefs, practices, and journey with others, regardless of physical location. Earthly ties no longer bind or restrict you; sharing can occur with anyone, anywhere, at any time you choose to open yourself to it. You may have the opportunity to connect with someone and be opened to a new way of thinking that you had never considered before. When you are actively engaged with others and your spiritual side, it is all too easy for your spirit to grow and blossom into something new.
Pausing and Unplugging
For all of the joy and beauty that social media can bring to our lives, it can also bring just as much unhappiness. Being constantly connected and accessible can be emotionally, mentally, and spiritually exhausting. Even if you enjoy using social media in your spiritual practice, it can make you feel suffocated, overwhelmed, or like you can’t take a break from the world.
When using any kind of connective technology, it’s healthy to unplug for a while. Remember that just because you can be reached all hours of the day does not mean you are obligated to spend all of your spare time online. Do whatever you must to find peace during your unplugged time. Let others know you will be offline, schedule your downtime in advance, or simply log off whenever you feel the need. It’s part of living a healthy life.
As with all things in life, it’s all about finding the right balance and what works best for your own spirituality. It depends on what you envision for your spiritual practice. If you love being able to connect with like-minded individuals online, let that help your spirit grow and flourish.
But if you feel bogged down or dampened when using technology in your spiritual practice, abandon it. What helps advance another person’s spiritual growth may end up hindering yours. Instead of getting online, seek other ways to help your spirit grow healthy and strong. For example, finding like-minded people in your area or joining a spiritual group in-person can also lead to a fulfilling connection. Spirituality is difficult to define and means something unique to each of us. While social media may be beneficial for the spiritual practice of some, it may not be as useful to others, and that’s perfectly fine. However, it’s important not to automatically discount all the good it can do for your spiritual growth. It may take you down a path you never expected.
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