I really am thankful for social media. It has allowed me to stay in touch with family and friends even with several hundred or thousand miles between us. There are some redeeming qualities to all of it.
But sometimes I just would rather it not be such a big part of life nowadays. People pour hours into peering into others’ lives and using posts to evaluate and critique their own lives and others’ lives. It has taken comparisons to a whole new level. The media has always fostered comparisons in our culture. Whether it be with athletes, actors, singers, or the insanely rich, American media and way of life encourage some pretty crazy standards. Standards that usually make a mockery of Biblical wisdom and true Christian discipleship.
Social media falls right into that. People can edit their lives to display only the glamorous and good. The edited lives displayed depict the healthiest of foods, the most creative projects, the happiest of times, the best outfits. And it’s not just that it is all displayed, but that these usually fake depictions of real life have the ability to be “liked.” So when you don’t post every meal or date night, outing with a friend or adventurous undertaking, or you don’t get a high number of “likes” or “favorites” or “repins” for what you do post, it is very easy to think your life is not as good as someone else’s.
I really am all for staying in touch with family and friends, sharing ideas and articles, marketing businesses, and loving life. But there needs to be authenticity. There needs to be balance. We need to teach our children that their worth is not measured by how much they post online or how many “likes” they receive. Knowing how people are doing based on what you read on social media does not equate to intentional relationships.
I might sound harsh in this, but that’s not my intention. I am just burdened for my generation and the ones following regarding all of this. It is more than okay to do something fun and happy without posting a picture of it. Learning contentment in this day is hard. But it is a battle worth fighting.
Our hearts need to be sustained by the Word and not by others’ posts.
Our identities need to be found in Christ and not what is “liked” by our “followers.”
Our relationships need to be authentic and not artificial.
It is our choice whether we fall into the trap of becoming obsessed with this social media, comparison-driven culture or rise above and use it for good.
Sarah loves Jesus and her family and is passionate about addressing the urgent spiritual and physical needs around the world. She is the wife of Spencer and mama of Katherine and Claire, and they live in Nashville, TN. She runs a photography business with her husband and writes in order to offer encouragement and invite others to choose grace, joy, and gratitude in the adventure and the mundane. She loves traveling and reading; she will choose unsweet tea over sweet and bootcut jeans over skinny; and she is all sorts of awkward with small talk but thrives with deep conversations.