Recently, I’ve been really caught up in a sermon series by pastor/motivational speaker Levi Lusko. It’s called Swipe Right. He wrote an entire book on the subject and uses bits and pieces to shape hour-long talks. The title references our generation’s need for and fascination with technology. Lusko stated that, on average, humans pick up their phone/tablet/laptop/whatever around 150 times per day, “swipe,” and check social media. That is literally once every 6 minutes. That statistic blows my mind. We are an obsessed generation.
Specifically, Swipe Right addresses the extreme usage of dating apps that make dating and hooking up casual and “as easy as a swipe.” Right now, at this very moment, over 50 million people are using Tinder in over 40 different countries. Personally, I do not use dating apps, but I would definitely say that I am pretty obsessed with my phone and laptop. I stopped to think about what the common link is between myself and someone who uses Tinder often to meet partners. Strangely, we have much more in common than one would think. Humanity is designed and wired to chase after approval. We weren’t created to do life alone. We were created to meet a partner that will satisfy our humanistic need for love, fulfillment, and pleasure. Often, this characteristic trickles over. Whether we are spending our late nights “swiping right” on potential mates or just checking our Instagram every 5 minutes to view how many “likes” we have, our motives are the same. We want to feel validated. We want to feel loved and fulfilled.
I am not here to argue what I believe spiritually or biblically, but I do want to make a statement that should be known by everyone. Whether you are one who uses Tinder to casually hook up, or Instagram to gain validation likes, or Snapchat to gain compliments, we are all victims of the same sin. All victims of seeking fulfillment from a worldly standpoint. A place that will never satisfy us fully. We will always be craving more! In 2018, I’ve set the goal to live more presently, refrain from my phone more often, give up certain forms of social media, and use other forms as platforms to use my voice in an attempt to encourage others. To help direct them towards true fulfillment that only comes from the heart and soul.
Hear me out- No, I am not saying that social media is evil. It’s actually great, and obviously, I love it. It can be used to spread positivity and to radiate loving encouragement. It can reach corners of the world that individuals single-handedly cannot. It can use voices to change lives for the better. However, like everything else, it can be used for bad. It can create evil within our lives. It can take control if we let it. It can become our only form of validation and pleasure.
I stand firm in my belief that personal encounters will always trump screen-to-screen interactions, and I believe that this should always be the case and that social media, dating apps included, should be used to improve these encounters, not replace them. Here’s to the “Swipe Right Generation” and using social media and technology to better the world around us.