- Nehemiah 8:10
I'm not the first to write about this. Nor will I be the most clever, well-written. But, I've been kinda realizing lately that social media- or just the internet in general- allows people to create who they want others to see them as. It creates walls where we can hide behind this ideal image of ourselves. We choose (for the most part) what we want to go on the internet about ourselves. And we choose very carefully.
I am on social media like facebook, twitter, and instagram a lot. Way too much. More than you probably. So I'm not speaking from a holier-than-thou perspective. And I don't think we should eradicate these sites. People who refuse to be on social media because they think it is of the devil kinda annoy me. BUT, I do think moderation is key. And using it not to build up your facade, but to build up your spirit and connect with people (this being ONE medium, not THE medium) can all be very good things.
But, I realized that I am really good at coming up with facebook statuses' or tweets or whatever that will make me seem super spiritual and like all my world revolves around Jesus. And then I turn around and go back to my secret sins. Not that it's all completely false, in fact it's mostly all true overflow of what I am learning or feeling. But, it's incomplete. Because I never share the moments when I made a mistake or hurt a friend or all the hours I spend on the internet making idols of celebrities and obsessing over them instead of worshiping Jesus and reading his word. I don't want people to see that. I want them to see what really obscure verse I can pull at or when I am with my friends and when I feel pretty that day. Not the ugliness or the disgusting areas of my soul that can sometimes manifest itself externally. And I think it is safe to bet that I am not alone in this. That that is something many people do. At least, I hope I'm not alone.
I don't think that facebook/twitter is the place to be where you vent or where you post depressing statuses about how horrible your life is or where you confess your sins. But I have about 976 friends on facebook. I don't see all 976 of those people in a week. So, most people I see on facebook I only see on facebook. So what I know of them is what they choose to share with the world. I don't see their hard days and the time they lash out at their friend. I see a perfect, idealistic version of them. And that can be detremental because it could lead to comparison or jealousy or self-deprecation. And it's just not realistic. My pastor's wife in Waco said something one time that I really liked. She said "Only showing my strengths and victories build walls, but sharing my weaknesses and struggles build bridges." And I think that is so true. But, I had the chance to get to talk to my pastors wife in a more private setting (it was SO cool let me just say lol) and she shared some areas that she struggled in and it made me realize that I am not alone. That this amazing woman that I look up to so much is still weak and is still human. So I can have the impact she has on so many even when I feel so rotten most of the time.
We can't exchange community and fellowship with social media. We need to be more in people's lives then we are staring at a screen. I'm preaching to myself completely. But, I think it's something that christians especially should try to... at least care about.