“How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” John 5:44
The wonderful worldwide web is a great place for an ego boost. When we’re on facebook, twitter, instagram, blogging sites, or any other, we’re given a blank canvas on which we are able to easily & elegantly paint a picture of who we want people to think we are. A simple click of the ‘delete’ button can take away any unflattering picture a friend, now turned cruel traitor, posts of us. When we’re having a good hair day, it seems like an injustice to not take advantage of this golden moment & make sure the world knows how good we look. A click and a hashtag later, everyone knows how incredible our lunch was. Or maybe we have words to say that we hope make us seem like we’re deeply passionate about this issue, or that one, when in reality we don’t always follow through with our actions. But hey, as long as people have a somewhat neatly packaged idea of who I am, that’s what matters.
We crave the good opinion of others, and often times social media is exactly the place where we can prove that we ‘deserve’ it. I don’t mean or want to generalize. If anything, I want to point the finger foremost at myself. I think that as much as social media can be good for – reconnecting, staying in touch, expressing beautiful ideas, etc., we abuse it. We abuse it for our own purposes to appear in a pleasing light. It’s as if we’re constantly sending small alerts of noisy, “Hey, this is what I’m doing! It’s really awesome! Don’t you think what I’m doing is awesome? Don’t you think what I just said is awesome? I’m awesome, right?” I’ll be the first to admit that I get a small thrill from a ‘like’ on a profile picture, or a retweet on one of my more (rarely) clever tweets. We’re addicted to that small high we get with approval. Well, at least I am.
And trust me, I feel pathetic as I write this. But this is hopefully one step forward in remembering that it’s important and even a beautiful thing to be a little more transparent, a little more vulnerable. I’ve felt so petty for so long, knowing the vanity deep down that keeps me inclined to have a nice profile picture or post a certain idea that I think sounds nice, but that I don’t always actually show in my actions. It’s all just image, it’s all just a brief glimpse or who I really am, or, at least, want to be. It’s an easy and subtle way to satisfy my pride, because I can easily hide the parts of me that I don’t want anyone to see.
And trust me again, I don’t in any way think that it’s a good idea for anyone to constantly grunt off brutally honest truths. No one wants to read things like, “Well, I’m really struggling to love the idiot I work with” everyday. However, I do think that it’s a good idea to once in a while check & reign in our infatuation with plastering ourselves over every social outlet possible.
We spend so much time hoping to look awesome, that we post & hashtag & whatever else, and we waste the time we’ve been given in a day to actually do, actually experience those awesome things. We’re all so busy, glued to our screens, trying to out-awesome each other, that at the end of the day, I’m not really sure many people really care that we ate a salad with a Starbucks latte. What does that positively contribute to anything other than a small sense of satisfaction that a handful of people approve of what we ate?
All I’m really asking myself, and consequently you as readers, to think about is how much am I striving to glorify myself? Have I spent more of my day living apart from social media than I have on it?
If you like, please keep me accountable. I’m the worst of them all when it comes to the time I spend online or holding the vain hope that maybe people will like or respect me just a little bit more because I said this or posted that. For myself, I don’t want to be the one that keeps God from being glorified in my life. I don’t want to be so distracted that I tell God, “Hold on one sec, just have to let the world know what my feet look like today.” He must increase, I must decrease. He can’t increase if I’m trying to increase, too.
Easier said than done, yes. Baby steps, baby steps.