In my last post, we talked about how we can know whether we are addicted to all things Hallyu and the similarities it actually has to substance abuse. Today we talk about some practical things we as Christians can do to break free from it. I’m talking to my sister and psychologist to get her perspective. Here are her thoughts:
Is your addiction severe?
There is nothing wrong with kpop / culture in itself. But too much of a good thing is not a good thing. Stand back and ask yourself how much kpop/culture consumes your life. Talk to a trusted friend or family member and ask them for their objective opinion.
Don’t buy into the lie
Will engaging in kpop / culture somehow make you more accepted? Does it somehow make your more attractive to others? Does dressing a certain way or listening to certain types of music make you more popular? These may have been true for your for a period of time but it doesn’t last. These can be good things to strive for, but at what cost? Don’t buy into the lie. Striving for these things makes you a slave to them. Be careful that you don’t start to do other more risky behaviours in order to gain popularity or acceptance.
Consider abstaining for a period of time
Having been so consumed in kpop/culture for such a long time, you may have stopped doing healthy, fulfilling non-screen activities. Set a period of abstinence to re-engage nonscreen activities that interest you and who you are without kpop/culture. You may need to abstain from all related devices / media / related activities, or just some.
Figure out your self-image / body image without kpop – what other things are you good at? What is your personality? What other leisure activities do you enjoy? Be a creator rather than a consumer – Don’t just absorb images, music and text…cook something, make something, help somebody, get involved in projects that involve other causes and other people, do some volunteering and have an effect on those around you and in the world.
Know your weakness and have a plan
- A time of day: Do you engage in kpop/culture in the evenings mainly? Consider finding a substitute nonscreen activity during this time.
- A place: Do you engage in kpop/culture mainly in your bedroom? Spend more time in other rooms such as the living room, or get out of the house and spend time with friends face to face.
- Devices: Do you engage in kpop/culture on your phone? On your laptop? Avoiding use of these devices may be possible for some but for others you may want to consider reducing the amount of time you spend on the phone or the computer. Limiting yourself to a few hours a day (be realistic to start with) will help. If your addiction is severe you may want to stop use of these devices for a period, since even a limited amount of use will be difficult for you as you will easily click on interesting links / photos, etc.
- Music: Can you listen to other types of music, or cut your kpop playlists from your phone for a period?
- YouTube: Can you unsubscribe from certain channels for a period of time?
The strategies outline above can be hard to carry out. You need someone who can give you the hard word when a situation calls for it and you are too weak to say no. Give this person regular updates so they can stay accountable.
Go for something better!
Are you satisfied with being known as someone who consumes kpop / culture, or do you want to be known for greater things? Be someone who is known for being kind, hard working, witty, talented, funny, animated…these are qualities you develop by engaging with others and in the world, not by just being a consumer. While there’s nothing wrong with kpop / culture in itself, it does end up being a very self-centred activity and a very selfish activity. It is about what pleases me and makes me happy. Think about the kind of person you want to be. Think about where you’d like to be in 1 year’s time and ask yourself will your current habits and behaviours get you there. If you are not confident about the answer to these questions, it may be because you’ve disconnected yourself from others and from the world for far too long. Give yourself a chance and rediscover yourself first.
Consider professional help
If the above strategies don’t work for you, consider seeing a professional counsellor.
Ultimate joy is only found in Jesus
Addictions promise satisfaction but never deliver. If only a little more, and then I’ll be happy…but this is never the case for long and very soon we want more. True satisfaction is only found in worshipping Jesus. He loves us and gave Himself up for us. We don’t have to seek acceptance or approval from others when we already have it in Jesus. We don’t have to make ourselves popular and significant when God has already said that we are his precious sons and daughters. If you are not a Christian and this doesn’t make sense to you, check out your local church or ask a Christian friend what this is all about.
Thanks to my sister for giving all this helpful advice and I hope it’s been helpful for people out there!