Welcome I have a confession to make, and a few people may even be offended. Here’s what I need to say: I strongly dislike social media! Yet, I seem to be on it every single day. It’s like so many other man-made things…potential for so much good, but turns out to be full of negativity and sometimes pure evil. I’m going to share one of the big dilemmas I’m facing in my current stage of life. I don’t know, maybe some of you feel the same way, and maybe someone can offer some good advice for me. Thanks for joining me today.
Food For Thought I’m usually the last to follow trends, and social media was no exception. I wasn’t on Facebook until 2011, Instagram in 2016, and Twitter in 2017. I always felt that direct communications and personal interactions were more important, and I still do. However, through things like Facebook, I was able to connect with people I hadn’t seen in many years and even revived old friendships. I can also keep up with family members even as they are spread across many states. I have also been able to link up with like-minded Christians all over the country. So there is definitely good here, and I choose to think that’s what these platforms were intended and created for.
What I’ve noticed, though, in the past couple years, is I’m actually beginning to hate social media. I have several reasons for this, some being outside of my control, and some stemming from my own demons, you know, those lies Satan fills our head with. It appears that no one can have a conversation or make a comment on social media without someone trying to pick a fight or turn it into a political controversy. I have no problem with people stating their opinions, but I do have problems with adults getting involved in name-calling, using profanity and slurs, or not allowing others to fairly state their opinions without some form of retaliation. I also choose to block most news feeds and articles pertaining to violence and hate crime, so I get frustrated when my friends start sharing these things on their news feeds. Then we have the gossip and the drama. It’s a huge pet peeve of mine when people, okay, mostly women and girls, get catty on Facebook. You see snarky comments thrown out, knowing full well they are directed to someone about a specific issue, but instead of resolving it personally, it suddenly becomes everyone’s business. I’ve got enough of my own muck to deal with, I don’t need other people’s drama. It’s none of my business, I don’t know the whole story, and I’m not choosing sides. I try very hard to not post any personal issues on social media, even on my own personal account. My friends and family don’t need to know every single time my husband and I have an argument, that I’m feeling depressed again today, or that “she” offended me again. And we all have those people in our friends group that share every single ache, pain, annoyance, and strain. Now, I’m all for going to social media for prayer requests in times of illness or crisis. That’s why I thought it was so important to share my friend, Diana’s story yesterday. I just know some people that never seem to say anything positive, joyful or productive on their feeds, EVER! This world is full of negativity and bad news. How about a little good news, for a change?
Okay, so those are my pet peeves and annoyances that I can’t control, but that only makes up part of my problem with social media. I have personal issues as well. Social media seems to target my biggest spiritual weaknesses. I have opened up recently about my difficulty with envy, jealousy, comparison, and negative self-talk. Social media sets me up for lots of sinful thoughts and attitudes as I scroll through others’ status posts. SHE got to go to Tennessee for spring break. SHE got to go to North Carolina for spring break. SHE got to spend Christmas in Hawaii. SHE lives in a big fancy house. SHE got a new car. SHE gets to have another baby. THEY look so much happier than we do. THEIR kids are successful at everything. THEY get a new swimming pool. You get the idea…I scroll through and spend all of my time comparing and feeling jealous. And I don’t just limit these to my thoughts. Sadly, I sometimes let my jealous attitude come out in my words, too. I did this a few weeks ago when I informed my husband I never have any good news to share on social media. He was hurt, and rightfully so as I was implying he is not giving me a “great enough” life. I’m also that person that questions why people don’t like my status or interact with me on social media, when I feel like we’re supposed to be “friends.” Even that word, “friends”, has lost a lot of meaning for me since the world of Facebook and social media. “Like” and “Friend” seem to have lost a lot of meaning for me in the past few years.
So here’s where the dilemma comes in for me. Social media sets me up for sinful thoughts and behaviors. Satan preys on my weaknesses by using this source. I don’t love most of what comes across my feed. It takes up a lot of time to maintain multiple platforms. BUT I NEED IT to grow my writing career and online devotional and Bible study mission. Without social media there is no way to connect to people who don’t know me. I want to use social media as a positive way to connect with other Christians. I want to share stories of faith and the power of prayer. It’s a dilemma for me, for sure. It’s something I must pray about often, knowing that I need God’s guidance in this area of my life. I am curious if anyone else in this community experiences these difficulties, and how you tackle the issues. In the meantime, I will work on my own battles and try to persevere in the world of social media.
Today’s Scripture When I begin to deal with my social media struggles, I often call to mind Romans 12:2. Reading it or quoting in my head doesn’t always put my negative thoughts at bay, but so often it DOES help. I MUST renew my mind and my thinking, having it align with God’s will, which does not include negativity, comparison, or jealousy.
Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing, and perfect will.”
Today’s Recipe Social media is a guilty pleasure for a lot of people. It’s not one of mine, but I am going to share a guilty pleasure for our recipe today. Interestingly, I was watching the show Guy’s Grocery Games the other night on one of the cooking networks and they were challenged to make a guilty pleasure dish using a certain budget. I was intrigued by what some of these chefs considered a guilty pleasure. A bowl of noodles? A flatbread with some sort of meat paste? And then there was the Mexican-style Poutine. Now that was a guilty pleasure–tater tots covered in chorizo gravy and cheese! Yet, that chef was the one eliminated. So, I decided I was going to make a guilty pleasure here at home…Jalapeno Popper Chicken Fries…so bad, it’s good! Just remember, guilty pleasures should be consumed in moderation!
Jalapeno Popper Chicken Fries (serves 6-10)
- 32 oz. pkg frozen seasoned fries
- 5 strips bacon
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 TBS grill seasoning or Cajun seasoning
- 4 green onions, sliced
- 2 jalapenos, sliced
- 1 TBS flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup pepper jack cheese
- 2 cups Monterey jack cheese
Prepare fries according to package directions. Cook bacon in skillet until crisp. Cut chicken into bite size pieces and place in large zip-top bag. Add flour and seasoning to bag. Shake to coat chicken with flour and seasonings. Remove bacon to paper towel to drain. In same pan, fry chicken pieces in bacon drippings, turning every few minutes, until golden brown.
Remove chicken to paper towels to drain. In same skillet, add tablespoon of flour. Whisk to form a roux. Add 1/2 cup milk, stirring to thicken. Add cream cheese and another 1/2 cup milk. Add remaining cheeses and remaining 1/2 cup milk, stirring until desired thickness for cheese sauce is achieved. If the sauce is too tight, add a little more milk.
To assemble, place some fries on a plate, top with a few pieces of the chicken. Add cheese sauce, some crumbled bacon, sliced jalapenos, and sliced green onions. Serve with a fork…it’s messy!
Look at all that green! It can’t be too bad for you, right? 😉