social media & digital discernment: a bloggers mid life crisis

This is the problem I have with Facebook and social media:

And it is that there is so much more to me that you don’t see.

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Facebook is not the whole story.

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{the one moment of peace before Taylor got attacked by ants and Chloe was too hot, and Jimmy became bored.}
~~~~~~~

Sometimes I get lost in my day of laughter and joy and fun with loved ones and there isn’t one picture to prove it happened.

Sometimes I have an ache so deep, a fear so intense, that I could never share it publicly in that moment.

Sometimes there are moments and feelings that words or a status update could never begin to capture.

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{i was having a panic attack and taking a bath to soothe my emotions while he read my bible to help me.}
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Sometimes that smile I show in a picture you see, is actually a smile masking a world of insecurity behind it.

“Don’t smile too big, you’ll show too much of your gums.”
“Suck in your tummy, and make sure to angle those thighs…”

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{“you’re not tiny enough, pretty enough, but pretend anyway…”}
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{deep in the trenches of anxiety and insomnia. i hadn’t eaten or slept much in weeks and could only smile with the help of medication}
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My marriage has had it’s struggles, big ones, and in those times it simply remained between my husband and I and the Lord.
Facebook never knew.
But you saw pictures of us smiling and it seemed all was well.

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{smile though your heart is hurting…}
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Sometimes a person and their life are so much more than the images and status updates you’ll ever see online.

Even with a person like me that shares so much…
There is happiness and joy…hurt and sorrow…that are sometimes too much or too precious to ever reduce to 180 characters.

We have access to so much of peoples lives, and yet I think we often forget that what we see is TRULY just the tip of the iceberg.
There is so much more to it than we may ever know or see.

It haunts me to see social media being used in a way (often unintentionally) that is hurtful or confusing to us all.

It causes hurt and envy.
It creates judgement and pride.

“Why wasn’t I..?”  

“Why can’t I…?”  

“I would never…!”  

“So glad I don’t….!”

What began with Facebook making me cry, has lead to me really searching my heart in regards to writing and social media.

I’ve often referred to “this place” as The Bloggers Mid-Life Crisis.
Which for me, tends to happen at least once a year.

I’ve been here before, kind of, but it’s never been quite like this.
This time I realize it goes far beyond Blogging & Social Media.

And the other night I found myself taking notes and realizing it truly is a heart issue.

“What is this all for?
All that we put our everything into?

‘Look at me! It’s all about me!!  Look here, and now here, me again!!!’

I’m so very guilty.
But I long to make it different.

How can I continue to do what I love and long to do, and make it less about me and more about Him?
How do I stop conforming?
How do I change from my core?

I know I need to stop looking at what others are doing, and instead take a long hard look at myself and fix what is so broken and sinful in me.”

Those were my notes that then lead me to this article, Social Media & Digital Discernment, by my favorite Pastor & Teacher, John MacArthur.

It was this quote that I haven’t been able to shake, and I realize it needs to be my new motto for not just social media & blogging, but for my life:

“Like Paul & every other believer, my life is no longer my own. The focus must not be on me, but on Christ. When someone hears from me publicly, I want it all to point to Him.”

Maybe the answer isn’t quitting the online community altogether, but rather changing how we use it.

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Comments

  1. Hard truth. But much needed. Thank you for sharing your heart and vulnerability. Also, thanks for the link to the John MacArthur article… looking forward to digging into it. God bless!

  2. Kristin Renee says:

    Thank you, once again, for your generous transparency. I can relate; I have been off Facebook for a few months now. Not because I think it’s inherently bad, but because I was exhausted and needed a break from the burden of the constant life comparisons. From the pretending and the masking. For highly sensitive, anxiety-prone, insecure people, it can take quite a toll. It helps so much to know that there are other people who feel that way. Instead of feeling weak, I feel empowered by your reminder of what scripture says. Perspective is key, and it is refreshing to reevaluate what it all means; what matters. I sincerely thank you for every valuable word. Love, Kristin

  3. Jannette Thrasher says:

    I am so thankful that someone out there in the digital world is being truthful. I can relate as well. I am still on FB, and although I have taken many breaks from it, that is (sometimes) the only place that I am able to find people who are willing to communicate. Many peoples lives are so fast paced that we end up walking out of church searching for just one person or family to talk to about God with. Most of the time they have to go mow the lawn, or go to a family birthday party. When you have limited finances and no mom or dad around the corner to take the kids for a break or visit, you end up home bound. I actually booted about 100 acquaintances off of my FB narrowing it down to only the people that I interacted genuinely with which has gotten my perspective closer to reality. I was sad to see every other family BEACH BOUND OR DISNEY BOUND every weekend while ours was stuck at home with no air conditioning. I share my faith 24/7 on my FB, but my biggest fear is to be completely alone for days on in with four kids and no car (which has been my case anyway). So I go back to share whats in my heart becoming a bit excessive in sharing and sometimes falling prey to reading the newsfeed to much. The enemy is always seeking to devour, but I’m always seeking to find God in prayer and in the midst of the most simple life a woman can have. I am an alien in a foreign land. This was a poem I just shared. CONTINUE ONA woman once fretted over the usefulness of her life.
    She feared she was wasting her potential being a devoted wife and mother.
    She wondered if the time and energy she invested in her husband and children would make a difference. At times she got discouraged because so much of what whe did seemed to go unnoticed and unappreciated. “Is it worh it” She often wondered.
    “Is there something better that I could be doing with my time?”
    It was during one of these moments of questioning that she heard the still small voice of her heavenly Father speak to her heart.
    “You are a wife and mother because that is what I have called you to be.”
    Much of what you do is hidden from the public eye. ” But I notice.”
    Most of what you give is done without remuneration. “But I am your reward.”
    Your husband cannot be the man I have called him to be without your support. Your influence upon him is greater than you think and more powerful than you will ever know. I bless him through your service and honor him through your love.
    Your children are precious to me.. Even more precious than they are to you. I have entrusted them to your care to raise for me. What you invest in them is an offering to me.
    You may never be in the public spotlight, But your obedience shines as a bright
    light before me. Continue on. Remember you are MY Servant.
    Do all to please me.
    by. Roy Lessin

  4. Christy says:

    Good words! I’ve come to realize that FB is a high-light reel of everyone’s lives. We don’t post pictures of us sick on the couch with a fever, or when we are dressed in our grubbies – we only show our “good” side – our “pretty” side. There is so much more to us than our “pretty” side. Thanks for being real Summer!!

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