Paul Matsushima

Opting Out of Social Media

By Paul Matsushima | Published on March 23, 2021

The daily scrolling on social media assaulted my self-worth and I grew disappointed with where I was in life.

This article was originally written for the Faith.Work.Leadership newsletter of Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership.

Hi, I’m Paul, a millennial who has (largely) opted out of social media. Why? Because whenever I logged on, I saw friends starting businesses, achieving degrees and promotions, and living into their passions. These statuses, while great for them, created unrealistic expectations of how successful I perceived my life to be. The daily scrolling assaulted my self-worth and I grew disappointed with where I was in life. In other words, I didn’t feel as if I was living into my purpose and calling.

The daily scrolling assaulted my self-worth and I grew disappointed with where I was in life. In other words, I didn’t feel as if I was living into my purpose and calling.

After much reflection and maturity, I realized that my understanding of purpose and calling was rooted in the idea of doing something grandiose with my life. And buried deep within that was the promise of respect, fame, and the ability to stand out amongst the masses (and only then would I feel confident posting about it on social media). Those ideas were, at least for me, unhealthy and unhelpful.

My college mentor used to always say, “You are no better than anyone, nor are you any worse.” I am a beloved child of the divine, but so is the rest of humanity.

So today, while I don’t have a lot of definitive answers about purpose and calling, if I could give advice to a younger Paul, I’d say this: a) while you may be unclear about what to do in life, just start trying things–it’ll likely work itself out. And, b) stop thinking you’re special. My college mentor used to always say, “You are no better than anyone, nor are you any worse.” I am a beloved child of the divine, but so is the rest of humanity. So, may my purpose be rooted in being inclusive, equitable, and loving to all I encounter.

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