I was actually Present this Christmas.
For me, life was good, yet, feelings of depression were worsening. I would have bouts of being happy followed by deep discouragement.
I have a wonderful husband, my parents are both alive and loving, and I have food, shelter, and clothing. I love the Lord Jesus. So why was I so down and truly sad? The embarrassing truth follows and you are free to roll your eyes: I was discouraged because my YouTube channel was not growing as fast as other channels were and I was upset and envious and frustrated... I wanted so badly to get to 1,000 subscribers. This sounds so "first-world-problem-ridiculousness", right?
My Mom and Dad had been home for about 1 1/2 weeks and noticed that I should have been happier about them being home which is not normal for me. Mom also noticed that I was just "not there". I was distracted.
I would constantly be checking to see how many views a video had and of course, how many subscribers I had. It was not healthy.
Why is it not healthy? It's because my emotions were being controlled by people that I have no control over. My self-worth and happiness were being controlled by people that don't really matter in the life I live.
If I would get a subscriber or two, I would be happy. If I would lose a subscriber, I would be devastated. These were the fluctuations in my mood that my Mom noticed and made her worried because something was just "off" with me.
My husband and I had just interviewed a Psychologist, Dr. Rich Lillard, of LIfesong Counseling for our medical YouTube channel and I after the interview, we were chatting and I had mentioned to him that my moods were down and I figured out it was linked to my slow-growing number of subscribers. He said that there are studies showing that many people experience what I experience: that a like or a subscriber is like a "hit of cocaine" for some people. And that the opposite, a loss of subscribers can cause depression as well.
So from that point on, I came to the conclusion that my obsession over getting subscribers was definitely the reason for my emotions and self-worth. It has now been 2 days of not checking on my numbers of subscribers or followers and I am totally "back" in reality...and thankfully Present. I am able to actually have a clear mind for the things that my family is saying to me instead of being obsessed and distracted.
I love the air that I breathe now. I am free. Free from the bondage that I created by wanting people to like my channel and to subscribe.
The only people that I should want to please is 1st Jesus, then my family. My husband should be the only subscriber that I need and now I am Present for him as well as my parents. It's absolutely wonderful!
So this Christmas, I am Present. Thank the Lord. I have been saved out of the bondage of social media.
Taking the sage advice of my youngest step-kid, I now create videos because it is content that I enjoy creating...instead of creating content... to get subscribers.
Live your life and realize your worth. Your worth is far greater than the number of subscribers on YouTube or your number of followers on Instagram. In fact, Jesus thinks that you life is worth Him dying for you to live eternally with Him in Heaven.
So, disconnect your self-worth from social media. It's potentially destructive for some people like me...and Jesus weeps when we make it more important than what He thinks of us.
This has to be one of my most favorite Christmases that I have ever had. For I am grateful that I am Present again in the land of REAL Life.
As always, Look with Intention