Social media is here to stay, which provides the opportunity to get tangled in its web a constant temptation. You see a picture on Instagram, and suddenly realize the picture of them – without you in it. Immediately you are upset, feelings of rejection set in and you are tempted to “defriend” or “unfollow.” Your mind becomes fixated on not being part of the fun. Not being invited to the group.
In those rejected moments, we either allow anger to consume us, or we decide to run to the feet of Jesus. Choose to run. Sprint to the One who never “defriends,” who loves us unconditionally, and invites us to be part of His group. As we trudge through these emotional obstacles, let us remember Jesus’ spoken words before we post, “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” (Luke 6:31)
Sometimes social media just down right stings. Its clever scheme has a special way of reinforcing messages of worthlessness, abandonment, and never measuring up. Replays ringing in our heads cloud reason and we instantly jump to: They don’t consider me part of the group. I’m just an after-thought. I knew I was going to get hurt again. We have to be extremely careful that we don’t allow today’s rejections to influence tomorrow’s relationships.
From images, to tweets, to status updates, they all trigger jealousy and comparison. A perfectly displayed family photo insinuates they all get along. A luxurious vacation spot signifies they have it all. A husband and wife photo displays a marriage living on easy-street. And the continuous pictures of kids portray a successfully high-achieving child.
What we must realize is we are comparing our insides with their outsides. Those portraits are simple snippets of life. We can all dress it up and take it to Facebook, but we must keep social media in perspective. Otherwise, wishing we had their life, their family, their friends leads to discontentment in the blessings we do have.
In discussing this issue with friends, I compiled a few realities to help keep us free from the tangles of jealousy and comparison.
- Our view is a simple snapshot – not the full story. Postings are not usually gloom and doom, and who wants to promote losing the championship game or the family fighting before heading to church? Instead, we desire to share the good parts of life, and that is okay.
- Our narcissistic society enables us to be over-sharers and self-promoters. From time to time, we care more about presenting the perfect online life than pouring into the real life of the person sitting across the table from us.
- Likes, follows, and retweets have absolutely nothing to do with our worth as a woman. Addicted to the like develops a sense of insecurity that will never equal truth.
- We get the choice to be offended or believe for the best. Usually, people do not intentionally post with the aim at hurting others; and even if they didn’t have our best interests in mind, they probably didn’t have the worst intentions either. They took a fun picture, posted it, and moved on. We should take note and move on ourselves.
Deep in our hearts, we realize pictures were not posted to make us feel rejected. However, until we put social media in its right place, it’s going to continue tangling us up in unhappiness about who we are, the life we live, and the relationships we have. So, let’s choose to believe the best in others.
As the motto goes, “When in doubt, throw it out.” So if you question to post or not to post…remind yourself…do to others as you would have them do to you.
Be Real ~ Be You!