In the past few years, I’ve heard many people (particularly women) criticize social media as a false representation of people’s lives, a fully-filtered version. Hearing amazing people compare themselves with others via a tool, which is highly subjective, always saddens my soul.
Don’t get me wrong, I do compare myself, but my worst enemy isn’t a “friend”, it’s all Laura.
I jumped on Facebook a hundred years ago as a way to connect with people, and perhaps because of that motivation, I haven’t struggled with the “comparison trap”. (Of course, it may have something to do with the fact I was older and had already failed at enough of my own expectations to put an ounce of energy into anyone else’s!)
I enjoy seeing snapshots of friends’ lives. As of this moment, I don’t recall looking at another’s post and thinking, “She’s so fake…why are they posting that…if people only knew the real them…”
Holy Moly, What the heck is that??
If we’re using social media to compare, one up, or one down, with each other…please, let’s stop. Whether that be a short-term break from it, a season’s timeout, or a permanent “account deleted”…let’s do it now.
I’ve held awesome conversations with Morgan (our twenty-something, beautiful girl) about social media, particularly with regard to the question of, “Yeah, but do people really want to read about other people’s struggles or do they prefer the happy stuff?”
Shoot! I, myself, have been scrutinized by “friends” for things I post – regardless whether I share positive (lighthearted things) or negative (seasons of pain). Lest we remember, our social media accounts are our own to post as we feel led, not according to what others deem worthy. (Ergo, remove the notifications as to who/how many “likes” you receive is freeing.)
Here’s the thing…
We are all different. We were all made differently. We all have different backgrounds, families and lifestyles. We were made differently. We live in different places, eat different foods and drive different cars. We were made differently. We take different vacations, wear different clothes and read different books. We were made differently.
We were made differently to be, do and accomplish different things. And not just for ourselves, but for God’s Kingdom. Adam wasn’t Jonah, nor Moses, nor Paul. Eve wasn’t Esther, nor Mary, nor Martha. Each one of us was made to fulfill a different role in God’s plan.
Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 13, speaking into who we are, created for different things, is a wonderful reminder of both our individual worth and our collective value.
Let’s go into a new week as one body, both in suffering and rejoicing together.
How about we cheer on those with different gifts than our own, depending on them to come alongside us in fulfilling why we’re all here? How about we see people’s lives – yes, even the parts they choose to post, or not post – as opportunities to love them? How about we, as Christ-followers, compare ourselves against who God wants us to be, rather than who Satan says we aren’t?
I know this, this forty-four year old woman, who has learned to embrace her own gifts, craves, wants and needs yours alongside her.