Without a shadow of a doubt, we can all agree that we are living in the social media age. Our generation has really taken hold of the technology and has revolutionized the face of social media. We have enhanced the way we do everyday life in comparison to our non-tech savvy parents. However, despite its numerous benefits, social media can also come at a cost. What may be good for the community, isn’t always good for the individual.
Here are 3 lies I believed because of Social Media
1. I was the only one “suffering.” Everyone has it figured out.
*scrolls through Facebook* *Sees that Stephanie is engaged to Derick*
*sees classmate from elementary school is having a child...again*
*scrolls through Instagram* *See classmate from Bio 201 had their white coat ceremony today*
*see your friend posted a picture captioned #workflow at her bomb office job*
I don’t have snapchat for one reason (another rant post in the making), but if I even did, it wouldn’t help my current mood. (Well, Twitter would. Apparently, people go there to vent and be realistic about their lives). I wish I could call the story above a ‘scenario,’ but it's the actual reality every time I log onto social media. I spend hours upon hours scrolling through photos and watching videos of everyone’s ‘success,’ without being able to even add my own snapshot of my ‘successes’ or ‘accomplishments’ to the mix, longing for likes in the false form of approval and acceptance from my peers.
As you are reading this, you are probably thinking, “what is this girl talking about? She must not know that I...” At this moment, your thoughts are probably being flooded with your own ‘failures’ and ‘shortcomings.’ All your undocumented failures are flooding in, and that’s the thing with social media, they are undocumented, so people don’t even get to see the behind-the-stage scenes of your life, just the trailers, highlights and the money shots you present.
Often like the fig tree, we present to outsiders the illusion of being ‘fruitful,’ but when we take a deeper look, we are covering up our nakedness with leaves like Adam and Eve.
For a long time, the enemy had me believing that I was the only one “suffering.” But it turns out, I wasn’t the only one and my situation wasn't even as terrible as it could have been.
2. I shouldn’t share anything too early
For a season, I wanted to share and document my journey to Physician Assistant school to encourage others in the faith that were desiring to pursue medicine. I had the series name, possible aesthetics, possible topics, the whole shabang planned out.
I never got off the notepad with my idea. Not because I didn't have the time or the resources, but because I had fear in my heart. Fear of not getting in, then having to tell people I didn't get in, after already putting myself out there and making myself vulnerable. That's just humiliating.
But God is teaching me that my identity isn't in what I do, but simply who I am called to be. By choosing not to share parts of my life due to fear of failure, I strip away my authenticity and transparency, in exchange, portraying a facade.
Every time we chose to not share parts of our life due to fear of ‘failing’ in front of others, we create the facade that we have no obstacles in life. Which isn’t true because Hebrews 6 tells us that true Sons face trials as the Father is disciplining us.
3. I knew people.
No, I actually didn't. I only knew people based on what they decided to show me.
“I know no man in the flesh.”
Social media allows people to portray themselves however they see fit to another party. Someone can present themselves as a “woke” individual. Another person can presents themselves as adventurous. Heck, people think I'm always on moves because of what I share on social media, but in all honesty, I’m a homebody. This causes other parties to subconsciously accept what is presented to them as the truth. Because of this, we are no longer intentional in getting to know one another through basic oral communication. Why ask you about your life, when you already shared it on social media? I can just know you off that, and avoid intentional, in-depth conversations with you. But that's not what God intended for a community. He didn’t create us to be passive beings, that hide behind computer screens. He told the disciples to “go and make disciples.” He was commissioning them to be intentional about doing life with others in the faith and those new to the faith. That still is the charge for today’s generation.
There are more lies that we have fallen victim through social media, we should file lawsuits against them for deception. But that can’t be the case, so we have to be more mindful of our intentions, of our actions, and the truth behind what we are showing to/receiving from others.