5 Signs You’re Obsessed with Social Media

By: Kristen Clark

My alarm goes off. I rub my tired eyes not wanting to wake up. I roll over in bed and reach toward my nightstand in the dark. It’s here somewhere….oh — got it.

I grab my phone and unplug it from the annoyingly short charger cord. The bright light from my phone half blinds my sleepy eyes. But I’m determined.

I must…check…my…social media. Half asleep, I begin scanning the latest posts and comments. Like a robot set on repeat, this routine becomes the default for my mornings.

Sound familiar to you?

I am embarrassed to say that this pitiful scene has been the default method for many of my mornings. Checking my social media first thing has become a habit that I am constantly fighting against. I don’t want my phone to be my first thought each morning.

I don’t want to be “obsessed” with my social media accounts.

I want God’s Word to be my first go-to. I want prayer and peaceful quietness to be the first thing in my day. Quiet mornings with God’s Word in hand can’t be beat. With life being so crazy, we all need those early morning moments to meet with God.

We need to practice what Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

Like me, you might need to take a moment to reevaluate your social media habits. What is your first thought when you wake up? What do you spend your spare “moments” doing?

To help you discover if you’re idolizing your social media like I tend to do, see how you measure up to these 5 signs.

5 Signs You’re Obsessed with Social Media:

1. You check social media first thing in the morning.

You wake up from a good night’s sleep. Another great day. Before you even roll out of bed you glance over to your nightstand. There it is. You get your morning stretch in by reaching for your fully charged phone. Without even thinking you open up your social media apps. You catch up on latest since you went to bed last night. You browse every photo until you’re completely caught up. Ahhhh…Now you can start your day.

2. You browse the social media feed every moment you have “downtime” throughout your day.

About an hour after you wake up you feel another urge to check social media. I mean C’mon. It’s been 60 minutes…a lot has probably happened. You browse the photo and status feed every break you have throughout your day. You hate the feeling of missing out on something. Whether you’re in the car sitting at a stoplight, waiting in-between classes, walking into the grocery store, sitting at lunch, etc. you find yourself on social media.

3. You post multiple photos a day. Many of them selfies.

“What do you think of my new hairdo?” “Hitting up the gym!” “Starbucks stop…love my latte!” “Sad face because it’s Monday.” “Throwback Thursday!” “Selfie Friday!” “Sassy face Saturday!” etc. Posting selfies throughout the day is a favorite pastime for you. Now there’s nothing wrong with posting a fun picture of yourself here and there…I’m talking about posting selfies on a regular basis. When your Instagram feed becomes a personal portfolio, that’s a sign you’re a bit obsessed (with yourself).

4. You upload a photo. Then you check your phone every 3 minutes to see how many “likes” you’re getting.

You snap that perfect selfie, choose the filter that makes your skin look flawless, add a catchy title, and hashtag some funny lines. Then you wait. Wait and check. Check and wait. The likes start coming in. A smile forms. Then someone popular likes your photo. You smile even bigger. You continue checking your phone every few minutes until your photo loses it’s steam. You take a mental note of your total “likes” and secretly hope to get more next time.

5. If you’re unable to access your social media for a long period of time you feel totally “disconnected.”

You’re on a road trip and lose cell signal. You’re in a class and can’t use your phone. You accidentally leave your phone at home for an entire day. You’re on an airplane with zero internet access. You can’t access any of your social media sites. You feel a sense of loss…a sense of disconnection. What’s going on in the world while you’re away? You feel anxious about losing access to your apps. You count the minutes down until you will once again access Instagram.

How did you measure up?

How did you do against those 5 signs? Could you relate to some of them? If so, I’m sure you wondered how I read your mind. I read your mind because I read my mind. I regularly struggle with many of those 5 signs.

Technology is a great tool, but can easily become a great trap if we’re not careful. What started out as a fun photo sharing program can easily turn into a major time waster and an avenue for prideful broadcasting.

If you find yourself idolizing your social media apps, I have two helpful tips for you. These tips are what helped me gain self-control with my apps.

1. Check your pride factor.

Social media is an extremely tempting platform for pride to flourish. Ask yourself the why questions. Why do you post so many selfies? Why do you crave more likes? Why do you envy people with more followers than you? For most of us it comes down to a pride issue. We’re looking to someone or something else for our identity. We unknowingly base our worth and value on how much our “friends” like us.

The best way to overcome these issues is to recognize our prideful heart and confess it to God. We will never feel totally secure and fulfilled until we focus on pleasing God and living for His glory alone. We will never stop seeking praise and compliments from others until we embrace our worth and identity in Christ.

2. Set up boundaries.

If you want to lose weight, you go on a diet. If you want to get fit, you start exercising. If you want to pass a hard test, you study. If you want to keep your social media in check, you set up boundaries.

Time is precious. You only have so much time as a young woman. Don’t waste it! Don’t waste hours, and hours, and hours on social media. I’ve been there and it’s not worth it.

The best way to keep your apps in check is to set up firm boundaries for yourself. My sister struggled with wasting too much time on Instagram, so she set up a strict personal boundaries. She committed to only getting on Instagram twice a day. That’s it. No more. Maybe less.

It was haaaaard for her at first. But now it’s easy. She broke her bad habits and now uses her extra time for profitable, productive things.

Set up boundaries for yourself.

Let’s chat below. 

  • Do you find your identity and worth in what your online “friends” think of you?
  • Do you purposely post selfies to “feel good” about yourself and get attention?
  • How much time are you wasting social media apps each day?
  • What kind of technology boundaries can you set up in your life?

Photo Credit

Girl Holding Phone

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  • Bella

    Off topic question: how do i tell if a guy is being flirty or super friendly?

  • Taylor

    Ahh this was SO convicting for me!! It’s really hard to not be obsessed with social media in the culture we live in, but I do believe it’s completely possible! A lot of times, when I’m forced to take a week off social media for a mission trip or something, I come back refreshed and wondering why it was so important to me in the first place. Great article! I think we could all use a little break from social media 🙂

  • Rachel M.

    So convicting for me! I think sometimes I justify myself and say that I just need some time to relax after a busy day, but there are other ways to relax. Thanks for this article Kristen!

  • Susannah

    wow! I needed this. My parents are super strict and so the only social media I am allowed at the moment is WhatsApp. I thought I would be fine with it, and that it would never be a problem for me but recently I’ve been realising that it is. Time is precious, and God has given us all many skills he wants us to practise, many things he’s called us to do. If social media is causing us to be unproductive for the Kingdom then we must stop. This was so helpful – thanks XX

  • Elizabeth Omosa

    Wow! I just finished my social media fast today and this is what I meet… You are right, Social media addiction is real and it can become an idol and take Gods place in your life, that’s why we should learn to take breaks so that we can be detoxified and be closer to God…. I feel totally better as I was able to spend more time with my family and God…. Nice post

  • Something to chew on

    If we really believed that we talk to the God who made the stars, we wouldn’t spend much time on social media.

  • Tiana

    Hi Kristen,
    I can’t agree more with everything you’re saying. Sometimes I will spend up to an hour putting on makeup and taking selfies to find the ‘best’ shot that I believe will get the most likes. This is time I could have been spending with God and His word. This post has truly inspired me to think of boundaries I need to place with social media, because I do tend to check my accounts constantly. One boundary I will place is only checking my account once per day, probably after dinner. What are boundaries you or Bethany have thought of that could help us?

  • Lauren Ulrich

    This post was such a helpful reminder on the potential idolatry we can fall into when it comes to social media! As a busy mom of two little boys, I have had to set Spirit-led boundaries on using my phone and engaging with social media. I especially love the point you made about social media becoming a platform for pride! So true! I know God’s heart is for social media to be a platform for glorifying His grace and His gospel truth displayed in our lives . I am challenged to keep that Gospel-driven perspective in mind every time I post something on social media. Thanks again for reinforcing such an important reminder on the pitfalls of social media for girls seeks to follow Jesus!

  • Zoe

    Recently I’ve been struggling with being normal and happy and then all of a sudden-about once or twice a week recently- suddenly feeling strong emotions of sadness and being overwhelmed coming over me. Then I’ve gone into a few hours of being a weepy emotional wreck over nothing and yet over everything. I’ve noticed these emotional bouts have come sometimes when I am making decisions, especially if there is stress involved. I don’t know how to cope with suddenly feeling these waves of emotion hit me. I don’t want to be driven by my emotions or struggle with emotional roller coasters. Do you, Kirsten and Bethany, have any wisdom to help with not sinking into a puddle of crazy emotions at random times?

  • Elisse Tirian

    I’m almost constantly on Facebook – not because of pride (I don’t think) but because if somebody happens to message me (doesn’t happen often) I want to be able to see it and respond right away. How similar/different would you say my scenario is to your example of social media obsession?

  • KristinaLeigh Ryan

    I stopped using social media I’m broke and on disability. I would see stuff I wanted but couldn’t afford. I would forget the many blessings I have in my life because of GOD! I got tired of feeling sorry for myself so I said good bye to social media. Boy am I happier because my eyes are on GOD and not me!!!!

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