Social Media and the Fear of Missing Out
By Dr. Sylvia Hart Frejd
Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His perfect love. ~ 1 John 4:18, NLT
Living in this screen age can add a lot of stress to our lives and cause a lot of worry, fear, and anxiety. Fears include how I look on social media or how many followers or likes I am getting. There is actually a disorder now called FOMO which stands for the “Fear of Missing Out.” Studies show the more time we spend on social media the more fearful and anxious we become.
Fear is one of the enemy’s most popular weapons that he uses against us. Worry, anxiety, and fear can overwhelm us with a thick shadow of darkness, controlling our every move and decision. Recently, I had to face some very real fears in my life. I felt completely paralyzed by them. I lost sleep, couldn’t focus my thoughts, and was gripped by their control over me. Fear can be so devastating. It can freeze us right in our tracks. God knew how destructive fear would be in our Christian life—that’s why He says FEAR NOT so many times in the Bible. Author Zig Ziglar says, “F-E-A-R has two meanings: “Forget Everything and Run or Face Everything and Rise. The choice is yours.”
How to Face Your Fears
- Fix your eyes on Jesus.
- Keep your mind meditating on Scripture.
- Use deep breathing to manage your anxiety.
- Share your fears with a friend and ask them to pray with you.
- Play uplifting music.
A song that I have been playing over and over again as I have been struggling with fear is Just Be Held by Casting Crowns. There is a line in there that says, Your world’s not falling apart it’s falling into place, I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held. God has been teaching me that He is on the throne and He causes all things to work together for good. All I have to do is to trust Him and receive the love He wants to give to me. We spend too much time looking for other’s approval that is only temporal, when God is offering us His extravagant love that will cast out all our fears. God wants us to daily, moment by moment, receive His love.
We are made in God’s image, and we have the Holy Spirit living within us. The Holy Spirit gives us the ability to choose power, love, and self-control instead of fear. If you’re suffering under a burden of fear today, just remember your God-given strengths of power, love, and self-control. You can face your fears!
Some of the Benefits of God’s Love
- He delivers us from bondage (Deut. 4:37).
- He turns curses into blessing (Deut. 23:5).
- He builds us up and restores our joy (Jer. 31:3-5).
- He reveals Himself to us (John 14:21).
- He makes His home with us (John 14:23).
- He makes us more than conquerors (Rom. 8:37).
- He makes us alive in Christ (Eph. 2:5).
- He chooses us and calls us so that we might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thess. 2:13-14).
- He gives us encouragement, hope and strength (2 Thess. 2:16-17).
- He casts out our fear (1 John 4:18).
- He frees us from our sins (Rev. 1:5).
- He comforts us (Phil. 2:1).
- He disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness (Heb. 12:6,10; Rev. 3:19).
- He fills our hearts with His love so that we have the capacity to love others (Rom. 5:5; 1 John 4:7, 19).
- He gives us the capacity to clothe ourselves with His divine character including compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness and love (Col. 3:12-14).