About the Author

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also best-selling author of "A Confident Heart" and the familiar voice of a friend to women around the world as the former Proverbs 31 Ministries' radio co-host for ten years. Renee is a mom of three Joshua (25), Andrew (22) and...

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  1. Renee, this is so good. I feel this too. How helpful and necessary for us to identify what our hearts are really longing for and to pursue that true connection rather than a digital substitute.

  2. I definitely check social media way too often! However, as a single woman living alone in a new town across the world from her family, it’s a lifesaver. I treat online friends as real friends, and perhaps because of a disability, I actually find it easier to connect with them through these means. While I do want to cut down on screen time, I also wonder what a good alternative would be – perhaps the church needs to be doing a better job in reaching out and recognizing that not everyone has the privilege of being around those they love, and also that in person doesn’t always mean a deeper or better relationship.

  3. Renee,
    I think you really hit a collective nerve. I find myself scrolling way too often. I do believe the underlying reason we do this is because we are deprived of experiencing live connections. Now, more than ever, I find I have to begin my day by connecting with God. I almost feel like He’s whispering, “Come to me Bev, now that I have your undistracted attention.” So, I’ve been asking myself, what can I learn from this season? The answer I keep getting is that I need to make the most of my One-on-one time with God. Before COVID, so many other things temporarily satisfied the hole in my heart, but now I am forced to focus on the only One who can truly fill the gap. Then, when I reach out to others by phone or a socialling distancing visit, I’m not putting pressure on those interactions to fill what only God can fill. Right there withyou, Renee!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • This season has been so hard and yet there has been good coming out of it, like you shared. Your encouragement and honesty remind me tonight to ask Jesus to be my soul satisfaction, and enjoy others as an added bonus. xoxo

  4. I have to agree with a comment above. Being a single woman during this whole thing has really been lonely. I do find myself doing this, so I also agree with you Renee. I find my relationships at church are more important than ever now that we are going back to services in person. It really is a time of prioritizing what really matters in life.

    • I can’t imagine how lonely it’s been to walk through Covid as a single person without roommates for companionship. I’m so glad your friends at church have been a support and encouragement to you!

  5. This. It resonates with me so much and what you’ve just described is what I also do as well – surfing social media not out of any real interest but because “my heart was chasing after something more”. You’ve pinpointed and articulated the issue so well. Thank you for the tips here!

  6. Renee I don’t have Facebook or any of them about me. Would not have them about me. As I feel God was telling me they are taking up too much of my time. Dawn your not spending enough time with me. Your priging into other people business not spending enough time with me. Or my word the Bible and Prayer. Facebook is talking over your life. Anything that is taking over your life Dawn God told me get rid of it. Especially if spending more time on it. Especially if it not good for your life as follower of mine. So I wouldn’t have Facebook or Waps App or Anything like that in my life anymore. Only my daily readings from you guys like incourage or our daily bread. That help me grow closer to God. His word the Bible and Prayer. I look up very little on line. What I learn from you lovely lovely people is great. I can apply it too my life as follower of God. Grow closer to God. Then I not looking up things like Facebook or Waps App. Looking at things that God would not want me to. Or filling my mind with ungodly things. Or being nosey to see what this person or that person is doing. Yes I agree they are good in one way. To get the gospel out there and parts of incourage. But if making you do anything like that. Facebook or Waps App etc. God would in my eyes would say don’t have it. Get rid of it. As it taking away your God time. Especially if you looking things up on them that are not to do with God. They are not helping you grow closer to him. So with me it was better I got rid of Facebook. Never had Waps App. Never will. So Facebook I got rid of. I grown closer to God ever since. As not tempted to look up other things on Facebook anymore as don’t have it. I do my incourage reading and our daily bread. I read my Bible and say my Prayers. I am growing closer to God. God has been pleased with me. Plus he showed me to thank full for everyday I am alive in his beautiful world. I don’t have many friends. I did pray for God to send me a friend who I could go on prayers walks go for coffee with etc. As the good friends I have one don’t drive like me. One I don’t see that often. When we do she saved we just have good catch up. The other two now live 86 miles away from me. But we keep in touch. But once in a while we meet up they are saved. Then I was sad at one time God had not answered that prayer. I said Dawn stop it. Your alive you have alot to be thank full for. You still have your Marriage. Plus you have so many other things to live for. So many people have a lot less. So it taught me thank full. Plus thank God for what I have. I have the friends I have even if I don’t see them that often. I am saved. To pray for them. I have the best friend of all Jesus. Love today’s reading and you all incourage. Pray for you all. Xxx

  7. Wow, Renee! You hit the nail on the head with this one! I do miss those real life connections. I will try harder to make them happen.

  8. Yes! All these things and the comments! I just finished watching “The Social Dilemma” on Netflix. It’s a documentary from real people who founded and/or ran social media companies. It discusses how and why we are now { as people } a high selling/buying commodity, and I highly recommend watching it. It will really make you reconsider what you do and why on social media. But just as you said Renee, we crave a connection that is God-sized, and we need to fill it in real ways and with face-to-face connection. What if our church communities were able to pursue people with the same ferocity as these social media companies? With love, interaction, and real connection, we could bring people in to feel their worth, acceptance, and the love of Jesus! The world could be such a more beautiful space…

  9. So true. Nothing like one-on-one time with a friend. And while I love time with the family, and treasure it most days, I need more connection than with just them. Yup, I’ve recently ran to the car needing to get away and shouting over my shoulder as they ask if they can come with me, or do I need help? “Nope, Nope, I got this.” Because sometimes I need other connection. So I’m off to meet a friend for lunch who just called me and who I haven’t seen in weeks. I think we are both at that desperate stage, and besides I’ve also been craving Mexican food. Two needs met in one lunch!

  10. Renee,

    I haven’t been much of a social media person until this year. Earlier this year I had lots of down time-no church, working less hours, etc. I found myself scrolling through Face Book more. Honestly it doesn’t satisfy the craving for connection. We need to start our day with God. Begin by praying or listening to Christian music & get us on the right spiritual path. If you feel lonely remember there are many many people in nursing homes & those just stuck at home who could use some interaction also. Give them a call or send a handwritten note or card. I know they would appreciate it very much. We get so busy with our lives that we forget about the elderly sitting alone at home or in nursing homes, assisted living. Let’s all try to connect with others any way we can.

    Blessings ?)

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