Do you ever consider what people (friends, entertainers on social media, TV, music, films) you give your attention to? Jennifer Aniston recently called out people for being “famous for nothing.” How much time do you give God?
“Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.”
– 1 John 5:21
Some people may not realize how much time and attention they give to friends, individuals on social media, the Internet, entertainment, music, and so on.
At the same time, they may be giving little time to God and perhaps unknowingly favoring or prioritizing their time with “idols.”
The definition of an idol goes beyond the idea of worshiping a statue or a pagan god. It also makes reference to giving priority to other people or things instead of God first. This violates the First Commandment…
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
– Exodus 20:3
According to Strong’s, the Hebrew word for “before” in the original text means “above, over, upon, against.”
The pulpit commentary at Bible Hub points out: “Before me” literally, “before my face,” is a Hebrew idiom, and equivalent to “beside me,” “in addition to me.”
The takeaway here is that when we can’t spare time for God, yet make time for other people and things that are of lesser importance, in essence, they become idols, as we put them “before” God.
During an Actors on Actors interview for Variety about fame in 2022, actress Jennifer Aniston, 53, of Friends fame spoke out about influencer culture and the way young people are seeking and finding fame, the New York Post reported.
Aniston spoke about how the Internet has led to people becoming famous for antics or scandal versus having talent and how it is diminishing the standard of what talent is.
“It was right at the time when the internet really shaped a new culture about people becoming famous,” Aniston said. “This thing of people becoming famous for basically doing nothing. I mean — Paris Hilton, Monica Lewinsky, all those.”
“You’re famous from TikTok,” Aniston continued. “You’re famous from YouTube. You’re famous from Instagram.”
“It’s sort of almost like it’s diluting our actor’s job,” Aniston added.
A survey taken in 2019, found that 86% of young Americans want to become a social media influencer, CBS reported. Another 20% said they know an influencer personally.
In fact, the fourth-most popular career aspiration for kids is also “social media star.”
How much time today’s youth spends on social media will vary depending on what source you are gathering statistics from, but here are some examples…
According to a March 24, 2022, report by Value Penguin, 18% of tweens (ages 8-18) use social media every day, and their average screen time is 5 hours and 33 Minutes for entertainment.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, American youth spend roughly 6.5 – 7 hours per day in school.
Adding school and social media time is roughly 12.5 hours, leaving little for much else.
Young people aren’t the only ones prioritizing social media ahead of God. Many adults spend an equal amount of their idle hours browsing online.
Ask yourself the following questions:
· How much time a week do I spend reading or studying the Bible?
· How much time a week do I spend in prayer?
· How often do I attend church?
· How much time a week do I spend helping others?
If you are spending excess time on social media, think about how you can reduce time online and allocate more time toward serving God.