My head has been swimming with thoughts.
I haven’t been posting on social media much over the last few months, except when I write a new blog post. But I also haven’t been writing as much as I used to. There are probably multiple reasons for that. One being that this move to Colorado has been one of the hardest seasons of my life – feel free to ask me about it over a cup of coffee or a Skype conversation, I’d love to tell you how for every hard moment God has been graciously shaping me to believe more of His goodness…
But also, there’s another reason I haven’t been posting much.
I’m just trying to understand what this relationship with social media is and what it should be. My husband tweeted the other day, and I have to agree with him wholeheartedly:
I’m convinced that 99.9% of social media posts are thinly veiled cries for affirmation.
“Please like me!”
“Please think I’m spiritually mature!”
“Please see how woke I am!”
“Please think I’m funny!”
“Please think that my life is better than it actually is!”
I laughed when I read it. But I was also convicted.
I’ve started reassessing and reconsidering why I post the things that I do.
My desire is that the words that I write here would be an encouragement to the ones who read them. That somehow my words would grow you in your knowledge of and love for the Lord.
But to be honest, sometimes I get caught up in the stats, the likes, the views, the affirmations that what I am doing is worthwhile. That I’m making a difference.
Don’t we all?
Why do we post what we post? Why do we share what we share? What are we looking for? What are we striving for?
Affirmation? Appreciation? Status? A desire for people to think that our life is better than it is? A longing for people to see us as beautiful, smart, spiritual, successful, happy, insert-adjective-here?
But if we’re really honest with ourselves, we realize that this is simply pride and self-focus [which is sin].
As I’m writing this I’m frustrated by the fact that I won’t be able to tie a neat bow on my understanding of this topic.
I won’t be able to end this post with a nice, concise encouragement that helps us make sense of it all.
But I’m praying.
I’m praying that I’ll remember what I think is beautiful – without my preferences being skewed by what other people think is beautiful.
I’m praying I’ll remember who I want to be – without being blurred by what I feel like other people want me to be.
I pray that I would be brave enough to put the phone down and have a conversation with a stranger, rather than scroll through another stranger’s squares.
I pray that I would be courageous enough to be alone with myself. Just alone. Just thinking.
I pray that social media would serve to connect rather than divide.
I pray that I would use it to communicate rather than to escape.
I pray that it builds up rather than tears down.
I pray that I would experience beautiful moments. Not post them. Not even take a picture of them. Just capture them in my mind. Remember them.
I pray that I would remember the exquisite beauty in the mundane. The wonder of what is happening right here in front of me. In my very ordinary life.
I’m praying these things for you too.
Could it be that maybe the most important moments are the ones that aren’t documented? The conversations that aren’t recorded? The sunsets that aren’t photographed? The kitchen dance parties that aren’t videoed? The flitting in-between moments that you can’t capture?
Could it be that disconnecting is precisely how we’ll reach deeper connection?
*i would love for you to share your thoughts with me regarding this topic. i want to keep this conversation going and learn how i can better disconnect to connect. feel free to send me a message here, shoot me an email here, dm me on insta here, send me a carrier pigeon here….jk.*
also here are a few links to people who have addressed this topic in beautiful, powerful ways:
- Caroline Cobb’s new song, “I am A Human Being”
- Journeywomen’s podcast on Wisely Using Technology
- This scene in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – “beautiful things don’t ask for attention”
“I Am a Human Being” by Caroline Cobb
I don’t want to play the game
I don’t live inside a screen
I’m not for sale, not a brand, not a name
No, I am a human being
I want to let all my friends up close
Where I’m fragile, unfiltered and weak
Cause only the broken can be redeemed
It’s the way of the human being
From dust we came to dust we’ll go
Still Love has called our names
We were made for more than the mindless scroll
Or acting on a stage
Oh can’t you feel that ache?
So teach me to number my days
Turn my eyes from worthless things
I want to see my children and watch them grow
Pray in the secret when no one knows
Look up at the stars and turn down the noise
And listen for that still, small voice
I want to lay down the trifles and choose the feast
‘Cause we were made for eternity
I am a human
We are all human
We are all human beings