Faith

The Bible and Instagram: When Should I Unfollow Someone?

Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; give me life in your ways. Psalm 119:37

I’ve been praying that Scripture verse for myself this year. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit knows to to pray for us (Romans 8:26-27), and God uses His Word to help me grow.

When I started praying this verse, I didn’t know that the Holy Spirit would begin to make me aware of those worthless things so that I could make the choice to turn from them. But that is what happened.

Keep in mind that the things I’m calling “worthless” in this post are worthless for me. It’s not a gospel truth that everyone else should also turn from them. Maybe you should, but that is between you and God.

Read More: How To Make God’s Word Your Counselor

Something I’ve learned this year that has been so helpful and freeing for me is this: it’s okay to unfollow or mute people on Instagram and Facebook. People that:

  • Constantly complain about their life
  • Post lots of long “chatty” Instagram stories that take time and energy to consume each day
  • Share frequent political posts (even ones that line up with my beliefs)
  • Talk a lot about why I should or shouldn’t wear a mask or get a shot
  • Share lost pet photos on Facebook (it makes me so sad)
  • I don’t know in real life (they aren’t in my church, family or friend circle) and are walking through a difficult trial

Hear me on this – there’s really nothing wrong with sharing any of those things on social media (except maybe the constant complaining). The reality is that I’m a pretty sensitive person and I interact with real people all day during work. I’m not living in a hole – and I make a daily effort to love and serve the people God places around me.

Reading about lost pets, seeing screen shots of comments left by someone else’s angry followers who don’t like their stance on politics, and processing long updates about a terminally ill person I’ve never met and have no real connection with – that just wears me out.

At the end of our lives, neither I nor the other person in the scenario will be adversely affected because I quietly unfollowed or put their stories on mute.

This is not because I don’t care about the people I’ve never met who are walking through something horrible, but because it’s emotionally exhausting to carry a burden I wasn’t meant to carry. I talked about this recently – you can read how and why we should carry on when tragedy strikes in this post.

There’s one more scenario that gives cause for unfollowing – if there is someone who has something we want: a house, job, family, husband or anything else. If watching that person carry out their lives on the internet causes you discontentment, pain or jealousy – I would encourage you to unfollow them.

We can’t “unfollow” people in real life. You’re going to run into a friend who recently gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. You’re going to see someone’s husband helping them load groceries into the car while you wrangle yours alone. Your family member might have a nicer home or better paying job. That’s where we have to take the truth of Scripture, apply it to our lives, and choose contentment.

But I think in some cases it’s wise to unfollow someone who (through absolutely no fault of their own) causes us to struggle with discontentment. We’re turning our eyes from worthless things and asking God to give us LIFE in the way He’s chosen for us.

Unfollowing doesn’t make me more spiritual. It frees up emotional space and energy in my life that I need for the real life situations in front of me as I serve my family, friends, and those I encounter during the work day.

Any time I feel overwhelmed by the burdens of the world, I find great direction and peace from the entirety of Psalm 119. Here’s a great reading plan that breaks it up into sections and will help you walk through and dig into the whole chapter.

Are your eyes focused on something that’s worthless? I can’t answer that for you – I can only answer it for myself. I can tell you that finding life in His way is a joyful, freeing and peaceful way to live. ❤

7 thoughts on “The Bible and Instagram: When Should I Unfollow Someone?

  1. I’m with you – always keeping a close eye on who I’m following and spending time/energy listening to on social media. I like that you pointed out that each person has their own list of reasons to unfollow. I think that’s important. Follow the people that you find motivating, encouraging and worthwhile.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Agree 100% and have already done this myself not long ago. I personally struggle with anxiety and by doing this, it has brought a lot more peace to my mind.

    Like

  3. Excellent thoughts and such a helpful Scripture verse! Thanks so much for sharing this very encouraging (and challenging) post.

    Like

  4. Hi! Wow I needed this today. I just read that verse in Psalms last night and it got me thinking. I love how God works! Thanks again Whitney for this post.

    Like

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