You’re not going to hear me say you can’t find that special someone on Instagram. In fact, my own amazing marriage got its start on social media. (But we will save that story for a future post.)

Here’s the thing though, you can’t use IG as your gateway to marriage without first acknowledging the downfalls of falling in InstaloveTM. That’s probably why the experts tell us to move relationships from the screen into the real world as quickly as possible.

Besides, did you know that everyone on Instagram is a fictional character? At best these characters represent snapshots of real people. At worst, they are filtered fabrications. That’s why you can’t measure the real people in your world against the fictional characters in your feed. There will always be someone who seems better-looking, fitter, tanner, godlier, etc., so don’t let FOMO put your love life on lockdown.

Another thought for you—just because social media is an alternate reality doesn’t mean your words don’t carry weight (sometimes virtual words do more damage than actual words). You are accountable for what you type, so use wisdom when deciding what you do and do not share. Online flirting should not become a hobby to pass the time.

Take a moment to evaluate how much time, energy, and emotion you’re investing in your Instaships or lack thereof. The truth is, InstaloveTM often creates more confusion than clarity, and this confusion leads to very real pain. So follow Paul’s advice and “keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is AUTHENTIC and REAL, honorable and admirable.”

38 Comments

  1. Sarah- Jane Van Eeden

    Hey Julianna and Addison! Thanks for putting this video together. It’s in area I definitely struggle in. As a soon to be 30 year old christian woman, that goes to a small church, and works for a Christian organisation and has Christian friends. I find my circle is very small, also due to the fact a lot of christian men are already married. So I find it’s really hard to meet someone who shares my values the ‘normal way’. I’ve tried online dating to find that I’m either not interested or too afraid to meet them face to face. And I have heard more and more people have found their spouse online/instagram etc. So it’s kind of like well the online world seems to be filled with much more opportunity than my small world offline. It’s a hard one, especially because every time I try online I also feel like I’m telling God what to do. But I’m definitely constantly praying about this area and putting it into God’s hands. I’m beginning to have a lot more trust when it comes to waiting for a husband and taking the time to ask God to continue to lead me in this area. It’s scary though being almost 30 and still single. But God has the perfect plan. Thanks again for sharing guys 🙂

  2. Hey Bevere offspring and daughter in law, I was just thinking about you all and I literally started crying (yes, I am a woman). You have no idea the hope that you bring to so many. My husband and I pastor a church in Kissimmee, FL and we have 4 children, 3 boys(❤️) and 1 girl(yay). More. Than. Anything. We want to see our children love and serve God. I hope you NEVER feel like you’re living in the shadow of your obviously awesome parents. When I look at you I see an extension of their ministry. I see a beautiful picture of legacy and hope. I see strength and gifting. I see ministers in your own right. I see what I want for my babies in whatever capacity they’re graced to walk in. Boldly be and do because it infuses us with faith and expectation of what can be.

    With sincere appreciation,

    Brandi Squires

  3. Sarah Haines

    Thank you so much for this. I really appreciate that you brought up this topic! It does seem silly that our society (and I do not think it is limited to millennials) has reached a point of needing such direction in this area. I, like many, have caught myself feeling more lonely and discontent the more time I spend on social media. It is so great how you point out that it is up to us to guard our hearts — thank you for that! I also like how you aren’t quick to blame social media; it is a tool and it is on us to be aware of how we use it and how much we let it influence us. I often think of the kid’s sing praise song: “be careful little eyes what you see, be careful little ears what you hear.. etc.” We live in a time where literally almost anything we want to “see” or “hear” is at our finger tips. It makes it easier for the enemy to distract and pull us from what really matters — the Father’s business. Which speaks, again, to the importance of physical community and interaction. Sorry for the long-winded comment, but thank you again!

    -Sarah

  4. Melinza Lonod

    Fictional! Thank you for stressing this out!

  5. I didn’t know your story began on social media. I would love to hear it one day. Great video! It’s like real life where you need to get to know the person first and guard your heart. At least IG has a black button! 😀 hahahaha The other upside to social media though is that instead of making friendships by seniority or proximity, I’m making friendships like this – by finding people I have morals and values in common with. Not that you can’t make friends in real life but online friends are real friends too and I’m so glad to have met cool people and ministries here! XO!

  6. Thanks for sharing! Such a healthy perspective 😁

  7. Unfortunately Millennials can’t keep off social networks as they are utilized across all areas of communication from businesses, announcements, interpersonal connection, creative outreach, and so on. Therefore, I do believe and agree disconnection is more important than ever for us to regain the intimacy God has designed us to have with others face to face and not face to screen. Research suggests social skills have declined immensely among Millennials and current generation Z. Anthropologists among others are believing that humans are developing into cyborgs.

    • Julianna Bevere

      Kay,
      “Cyborgs”- that’s a bit freaky. We just have to be more vigilant than ever to protect our time as the invaluable commodity that it is. Thanks for commenting!

  8. Lol- I totally forgot about the instagram relationship. I remember a few people doing that. I can not see myself having a relationship online. I have to see a person’s body language to get to know someone. But I kind of understand, when there not a ripe fruits to choose from around the neighborhood people do get discourage. I was discourage, but then I realized that right now is not my season to go looking for someone. The right person will cross my road, I just have to be patient. * I really wish apple can come up with an emoji keyboard.

    • Julianna Bevere

      Yes! You hit the nail on the head that it takes patience. I believe it’s the missing ingredient to have eyes to see that special someone when your paths cross. Plus patience is what it will take to make that relationship last.

  9. Paula Morales

    One of my favourite videos so far! Thanks for addressing this, especially because it’s such a new topic without any reference to base your advise. “Fictional characters” and “taking Instagram into reality as fast as possible” so good.

  10. “To be lead on, you have to give someone the reins.” This was so good!! Ya’ll mentioned how this could even be applicable to friendships and I’d LOVE for a post on that. Loneliness is something I struggle with (which is different than singleness) and friendship is a huge part of that, being hurt or idolizing friendships, lack of communicating well or stewarding time, false beliefs that I’m too much, just different aspects of what affects friendships. What do healthy friendships look like? You know?
    Love how relevant and necessary each post is for young adults, this is such a great place to find discipleship, thank ya’ll!!

    • Julianna Bevere

      Hey Nidia, friendship is a great topic to cover. I can relate with what you are saying about navigating friendships and the specific challenges that accompany it. Thanks for your comment.

  11. Cristal Medina

    Social Media can definitely leave me feeling like “I am not”…doing enough activities with my kids, not in my Word enough, not doing enough and make me question it all. I am not single I have 4 kids and I love what you said these are fictional characters and they are snap shots and how easy we forget. But above all else guard your heart and mind. Good stuff! Would love to hear topics on motherhood/wifehood ☺️

    • Julianna Bevere

      Hey Cristal, this social media comparison effect definitely doesn’t only apply to singles. I start feeling the same way if I slip into too much scrolling. At times it has been inspirational but for the most part it’s simply a discouragement. I am very liberal in my unfollowing, it’s important to pay attention to what our media consumption is feeding and make the necessary changes. Thank you for your suggestion on mommy/wifey business, that would be right up my alley!

  12. Video suggestions:

    (1) practical leadership skills/getting ideas off the ground
    (2) sharing Jesus in environments that are hostile towards religion/Christianity.

    thanks!

    • Julianna Bevere

      Hey Erin, thank you for those suggestion we are always wanting to cover topics that would be beneficial to you. And I know Addison has incredible leadership insight.

  13. Sometimes there’s some people in social media that are more real than the people around us. and I’ve read something about this kind of relationship in one of John Bevere’s books that “this is the deepest kind of relationship. it’s like our relationship with God, we don’t see, we don’t touch someone but we connect with heart.”you never know what God’s gonna do through someone like 3 oceans away that you’ve never meet before. God is not against IG it’s about how we see that. “when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.. ” yes there is people on IG or FB that are fake but not EVERYONE. everyone means you guys and many amazing people like you that I’ve never meet.. you know the Holy Spirit in you will say about someone, no matter how you get to connect with them

    • Julianna Bevere

      Hey Dahlia, it is completely true that God can use anything, including social media to make very real and deep connections between people. However, it should not be your only source of community. It’s important that we are in relationships day in and day out that are able to see us as we truly are. And it’s true that fake people are everywhere but all we can do is be authentic people and that is what we will attract.

  14. This message was truly encouraging and perspective changing ✨ You guys rock ☺️ And Julianna, in IG terms you are #goals 😁

  15. Another great video. My son & his friends have LOL’d at me when I once said, “All I follow on IG are dogs.” They thought I was referring to men as dogs. The truth is, I follow a LOT of Pomeranians. I also follow Lisa & John Bevere, Spiritual Inspiration and accounts similar. I don’t date on or off social media and never thought to do so. Great information.

  16. The fact that many people are dealing with this issue is a sign of how quickly the times have changed in, let’s say, the last 10 years! Of all the social media platforms I never would have guessed that Instagram would be used seriously for dating.
    Kudos to you two for, nevertheless, tackling this topic with love and grace for the people who really need help navigating these relationships.

    I joined Instagram when I was in art school and about 4yrs after it went live. It was a better platform to casually share my art, digital photography, and iPhone images than Facebook. Facebook was where I talked with my friends online, and Instagram was my creative outlet. Today, the way people use the two platforms has really broadened, but they also feel like they’re heavily all about the social aspect rather than a place for me to share work and get serious feedback. With all the changes that has gone with social media, I’ve concluded that it’s not really for my thing, and I’d rather back away from it. It’s been difficult because I have been in the habit of using it since MySpace was popular, but I haven’t been getting much good out of it, only distraction.

    Instagram is a tool, and we believers need to be discerning. “Why am I on it?” “What am I doing with it?” And so on…

    • Julianna Bevere

      It really is unbelievable how much it’s changed in the past 10 years. Yes! MySpace was my jam too. It is unfortunate that you no longer feel like you can utilize for creative purposes anymore, I do think as more and more people begin to recognizie it as a major distraction we will see another major shift.

      • Here’s to the next big thing!👍🏻😂

        There are plenty of creatives on Instagram I follow that do fine art, graphics and I lllustration, textile design, crafts, fashion design, etc. Many artists have made it work for their careers successfully. I’m just not sure if it’s the route I want to take since it requires a lot of time to manage your account, and I’m easily distracted.

  17. Perri Costley

    I really love how you said “we give people the reins”. I know in my own life guarding my heart has been one of my greatest accomplishments and failures. I think it’s so beautiful when we finally give God the reins! So much truth in this post, thank y’all for sharing.

    • Julianna Bevere

      Good for you Peri for recognizing the importance of truly and completely giving God the reins and trusting for wisdom.

  18. Julianna you look so lovely and peaceful that I feel peaceful watching you! Thanks for sharing, this is a very interesting topic, IG has also become a self-defraudation tool and most of the time we don’t even think about it allowing ourselves to believe in everything we see.
    Guarding our hearts is so vital, when we don’t allow ourselves to dream about lies or unknown people, we make so much room for intimacy with God and increase our love for HIM! When I finally learned this and aplied it, my life was definitely changed and all that “long waiting thing” faded away, because God became all that I was waiting for and dreaming about. I love what you’re doing here and I’m praying for you =)

    • Julianna Bevere

      Thank you for your kind words Giovanna, it is unsettling to think of the way this constant bombardment with subliminal messaging through social media is going to effect us all in the long run. Ultimately we need to recognize the true cost and take steps to make the necessary changes. It sounds like you are on a beautiful journey. Thank you for your prayers, always appreciated!

  19. Incredible. You’ve encouraged me so much in this perspective already. Thank you for sharing your thoughts 🙂 xo

  20. This was so good!! So good I’m fact that I wrote a comment and then it got deleted, and I can’t just not comment again🤷🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️😂 Anyway, what I was going to say is that you guys put such a great idea of what social media is and how to use it for relationships- and that it’s not up to the other person to “guard your heart”, it’s up to you. If we don’t give that person the “reins” over our emotions and our heart, we can’t blame them for leading us on, it’s up to us, in the end. Thank you for talking about this topic. It was great!

  21. I love this! Really gives a new perspective on social media!

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