We live in a culture where we are so connected. We define ourselves from the number of “likes” we get, the number of online friends we have, and how we can present our lives to other people. How often do you get on Facebook, Instagram, or any other similar social media platform and see someone’s life who is in shambles? How about never. When you post on Facebook, is it just the good things that are going on and the things you find funny, so it appears that you have the perfect life? Is that how your life really is though? Perfect? I know for me at least my life isn’t perfect even though my online “friends” wouldn’t know that. We put out what we want people to see not how our lives actually are.
If you are like me (and I hope you aren’t), it takes forever to take a selfie. It takes a long amount of time to get the perfect face, the perfect angle, the perfect lighting, and the perfect scene. After that, it takes a long amount of time to edit the picture to remove anything that you don’t want to be seen. And for what? So that you look perfect? So that you can hide the “imperfections” that you don’t want anyone to see? There is an escape from reality when you are presenting yourself one way. You are trying to avoid the realities of life by making yourself appear as you are not.
You see the lives of others, and because we live in a comparison culture, how can you not feel bad when you see the person you knew from years ago “living their best life” while they are on vacation on a yacht or something of the sort? We see people portraying themselves to be “living the dream” when they post about this great thing that they are doing or experiencing. You will always see that person with more followers, more friends, more likes, better pictures, albums of all of their adventures, funnier posts, and a life that appears perfect. Despite this, they’re life is not perfect. They also have problems. They do not have it all together.
Even though we have so many “friends,” I would say that we couldn’t be lonelier. We are replacing quality for quantity. We want to appear to our “friends” how we want our life to be instead of sharing with our real friends how our life really is. We want to have people like everything, instead of finding people who will accept us even when we say things that they don’t like. We are scared to have our lives appear anything but perfect. I’m not just sharing this with you; I am also preaching to myself. We are at fault. We are lonely because we are not being real. We are using these platforms to become people who don’t exist. People with perfect lives do not exist. We are people who are a mess. We don’t have it all together all the time. We don’t always look as great as our profile picture. We have “imperfections” that are okay to show people. We need to stop hiding behind the safety of our screens, and go spend actual quality time with real people. The real world does not always have perfect line. You don’t always have a clever witty saying for everyone to witness. You aren’t always looking physically perfect. But that is life, and that is okay. We are afraid of being vulnerable with others. We are afraid of being heard. But is it not worse to be portraying a life that isn’t real?
I’m in no way trying to say that social media is the greatest evil on this earth. I actually believe is a really positive thing. It is what we are doing on social media, and how we are trying to portray our lives as people who we aren’t is where I have recently been convicted. On social media though, we have control. You have complete control on what you are going to say and how you are going to say it. The problem is that you don’t have complete control over your real life though. In an actual conversation, it can take many twists and turns that you never planned, therefore it is riskier. There is something outside of your control, and that is scary. Isn’t that how life operates though?
Okay, so I have been talking a lot about this. “So what? What do we do about this?” Be introspective. Truly think about why you are posting something. Think about how you are portraying yourself. Do you want people to look at it to like it? Do you want a self-esteem boost because a lot of people liked your highly edited new profile picture that it took you over 50 tries to get right? (That is something that I did a month ago.) Are you trying to portray that you are living this wonderful life that others should envy with these great experiences with great people that you want everyone to see (even if it is not an explicit thought)? Where is your heart?
The only person who walked this earth who was actually perfect didn’t go around posting and showing everyone. He lived it out. We are not perfect, but we can rest in the fact that we have a God who is. So what if everything isn’t perfect? He still loves and accepts you. If you spend time with the people who you are friends with online and they reject you, they aren’t really your friends. They were simply friends with your perfect online persona. Find people in your life who actually matter. God will provide these people. We are so insecure about appearing real with people that we hide who we really are. God sees past our façade. He sees who we really are. We can’t hide anything from Him. He still loves us. You are not too anything to be beyond the love of God. We are imperfect, and that is okay. When the real you come out, who will be there? First and foremost, God will still be there. Secondly, the people who know the real you will still remain. You don’t have control over your, but you serve a God who knows everything about your life and has everything under control.
The word of the day is conectar (to connect). We have such a great desire to be connected with people. We are living in a culture where if we do not have an online presence, we begin to question if people still remember us. We are insecure about our real lives, so we make our lives appear how we want them to be online. We hide behind a screen talking to people who say to be our friends instead of spending real quality time with true friends. What about you? Do you agree with anything I said? Do you disagree? What is something that I forgot to mention? Share in the comments, and share this post with a friend.