We recently talked about Facebook and Twitter and how quickly social media sites can pull us in and suddenly an hour has passed and we’re still endlessly scrolling, hardly digesting what we’re reading and now I’m thinking of redoing my living room, gosh my home is always so messy, wait… what was I supposed to be doing? (Run on sentence intentional.)
Right? I mean, I hardly need to describe what happens when we open up [insert social media site here].
And it’s not even the image-based social media sites that should take the majority of the blame for our poor time management, but rather this:
We are abusing the purpose of social media (to be “social”) when we avoid our responsibilities and abandon life’s focus & the relationships sitting right beside us.
In response to the shared link above, someone mentioned (and I’m paraphrasing), “It’s hard to get on social media and only see happy, perfect images.”
However, the real issue isn’t that we feel jealous (or mad or annoyed) over the pretty (or positive or perfect-looking) images we see — because there are plenty of text-only posts that are acting as thiefs.
The real issue is that the thief has come to steal the joy and beauty of social media from us. Instead, we’re too busy pointing our finger at the wrong issue: what lies within our own hearts (even my own heart) when we fail to recognize what’s really going on.
You see, as humans we crave pretty and positive and hope. We want to be inspired, challenged, encouraged, and feel good about the life we live. Alongside all the normal, all the difficult (and sometimes all the sad) things we experience, we also need inspiration and challenges and encouragement and good feelings. We do, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Answer this for me: when you see inspiring, good-feeling-filled photos on social media, what is your initial reaction?
Is it gratitude? It should be. If it’s not, if it’s something more like greed, I know you know there’s something with you that needs to be reviewed.
A similar way to look at this is through the friendships we have. When good things happen to our friends, is our initial reaction happiness? Because it should be! We are called to be cheerleaders for our friends and neighbors. When they experience happy, we should too. When they experience sadness, we should too. And the same for us of them; our friends should rejoice when we rejoice, and cry when we cry.
I want to encourage you to remember most of the photos you see through social media have been styled. People want to show us the best version of themselves, because as humans we take delight in such things. But, it’s also OK for them to show us both sides of their lives, which include the messy, the difficult, and the sad.
Life is an organic mix of all of the emotions. No two days are exactly the same (hooray!). And when we share more good than bad with our neighbor, we are inviting them into a world of inspiration and joy. So much goodness is birthed from hardship. So much! Can you even imagine how dull we would feel if every time someone shared a personal story they stopped abruptly once they found themselves at a crossroad of hardship?
Joy is always waiting for us, because we serve a loving God.
There is much light to be shared on this Earth, even amidst the darkness we experience. God calls us to encourage our neighbor with love, honesty and a hope for a brighter future. Yep, even through social media.