I am about to utter a clichéd sentence. Are you ready? You sure? Okay. Here it comes…
I have a love hate relationship with social media.
Ahhhh….Do you hear it? The sound of everyone, all at once saying, “Please for the love of Mark Zuckerberg not another post on how Social Media is ruining our world and lives.” So maybe this is another post about how Social Media is ruining our world and lives but hear me out before you swipe to the next thing.
I don’t want to talk about how we look at our screens instead of people in the eye. Or how people have thousands of Facebook friends but are so lonely irl (in real life for my non-tumbler peeps) they turn to self-harm. Or even how the “obesity epidemic” has grown because erryboday and their momma be posting those “Tasty” quick meals videos. (P.S. please for the sake of my war-torn, last pair, barely hanging in there, I have to wear them because my jeans don’t fit anymore, leggings-DO NOT post another video showing me how to turn cheese into another delish snack in under two minutes. If you love me and my leggings you will stttaaaapppppp this. Immediately.)
I want to talk about Social Media and our self-worth. Yup. That’s right. How does Social Media effect our worth and who we are looking to for our worth?
I LOVE it when someone likes, reacts, comments, what have you to my posts. It makes me giddy. I stop and soak it in. I think “Dang girl, get it! They like you. You are great. You are funny. I always told you that you were.” And when someone new follows me on Instagram…honey you best believe I am popping the champagne…seriously I can’t even when I get a new follower.
But why? Why do I do this? Because it makes me feel loved. Liked. Cool. Funny. Special. Smart. Worthy. Affirmed. It makes me feel good. So guess what happens when no one reacts. When no one likes. When no one follows. I doubt my very existence and reason for being. Not even joking. I become the coach who lost the big game. I go over and over the “game footage” comparing it to other “wins”. What did I do there that people loved that I missed here? Did I not post at the right time of day? Should I add more of my cuter and funnier than me little sister? Is that what these people want??
I dissect everything. I wonder why people don’t like me. I wonder if they ever will like me again. Then I do something terrible. Something horrible. I begin to compare. I look at my friends’ posts and all their beautiful thumbs up likes mocking me. I look at the number of their followers and feel like a big ol’ friendless loser. I think “I do deserve this dismal following look at my pictures-not artsy enough. Look at the subject matter-not exotic or hipster enough. I am boring and blah and no wonder people don’t like me….” (Sometimes I overreact to things. This may or may not be a character flaw of mine)
But seriously y’all, there is something wrong here when a blue thumbs up can send me into an existential crisis. Here’s the thing though Facebook doesn’t have the right to tell me how great I am or if I am worth anything. But. BUT I have given it this right. I have signed off to allowing a number define me and my value. But I don’t think I am alone in this. How many of you are affirmed by the number of likes you get? How many of you depend on followers to find your worth?
Friends listen to me, and this is very important, it might change your life forever. Are you listening?
“You are not queso. You can’t make everyone happy.”
This wise, old, Texas proverb speaks so much truth. Not everybody will like me. Not everybody will like the things I post (which the number of people who unfriend me daily prove this point) or want to follow me. I might never even receive another like or follower ever again and that is OKAY. Who I am (and you are) is not found in mass opinion and followers. It is found in Christ Jesus and, oh friend, how that eases my soul. His opinion of me never wavers and my worth in His eyes will always be the same.
Yes, it feels good to wake up to 100 likes to a post or 20 new followers but the steady true love of Christ will never abate; and in this fickle world of ever-changing voices and opinions I would take that any day.