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How many likes will I get?

Social media has taken its toll. 

This morning, in and out of taking breaks from a complex reading, I used a break to read several articles that talked about the messages we are sending as a society. I read about expectations and hopes and dreams. I followed that up with some general internet surfing. And when I looked around in my Lenten state, I felt… blessed.

It started yesterday when my eldest daughter asked me about a picture she drew. I thought it was adorable and posted it on Facebook. The next day she was asking me how many “likes” it got and “what did people say about it?” I was horrified. I told her that it didn’t matter, that I posted it because I loved it and that’s all that mattered. I flat-out refused to even show her what people said about it.  It was so troubling to me since I do not talk about “likes” or “comments” when it comes to social media. But this generation does, and they have put their worth there. 

And my generation is no better. The constant barrage of “look what my kid did” all day everyday is a testimony to where we are at. We force our children into boxes, stuff them full of activities, then continuously complain about how busy we are. Nobody has time for relationship anymore. Nobody has time to look at the clouds…

But people have plenty of time to sell you a life that doesn’t exist, or pick and choose what pictures they show you, or what they show you at all. This used to be the mark of the great trial lawyers, the “look over here” option. Now, it is the hallmark of our existence.

I’ve spoken with many people on a personal and spiritual level about how they portray themselves as one person online, but yet are completely miserable in their real lives. And I’ve noticed the pervasive nature of people who have to create an online persona. What I mean by this is that they are marketing themselves, but not really themselves. They are marketing the image of what they want you to see. This in turn leads many to feel they are unworthy or out in the cold- look at their friends, their husband, their house. They are always going places.  But where, where exactly are they going?

Without inward satisfaction of soul, there will remain a constant struggle for fulfillment and the need for validation. Relationships will remain surface level only. We will never step into our destinies.

There are only so many quotes and get better books to go around. The transient nature of social media can only sustain you until that next moment. And the online persona you see of that person you want to be, well, it’s not real…

There is only one who has remained the same yesterday, today and forever. There is only one who does not change. There is only one who will transform you on the inside, not the out. There is only one messiah, Jesus Christ, the son of God.

So as you go about your day, trying to fill yourself up with the constancy and wavering messages of the world, try reading just one Chapter of Jesus’s words. Chances are you’ve read it before, in some cute quote bubble, but you didn’t know it was Him. You may just keep on reading…

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17 thoughts on “How many likes will I get?

  1. It would be impossible to know Him from social media. That’s for sure. I haven’t ever really thought what I was saying online was a substitute for the Word. I guess many do spend so much time on social media that they have little time for anything else.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes that’s exactly it. Social media is the cornerstone of the lives of many, I would even dare to say the majority. People I have talked to lately have this general feeling of unworthiness or hopelessness, looking to attain something that isn’t even real! I want to tell them Jesus is the answer, and no, he’s not on social media. But we are to tell them He is real!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Melissa, most that I talk to in person feel hopeless, and at least unsettled. Take a look at the polls in politics and you can see where many evangelicals are leaning and thinking. It really has nothing to do with finding true shalom. Very misguided, imo.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. I don’t “do” Facebook—never have. I figure if I need to talk with or see someone, I can pick up the phone, send a letter, an email, a text, or better yet—see them—all rather novel thoughts.
    As I can now hear the detractors–those who exclaim it’s how we keep in touch… as we’re so far removed these days from our friends and loved ones, we keep “connected” this way—and I say yes, just as we have been doing for countless generations before…before there was internet, social media, smartphones, all hosting instant gratification etc—communication was once savored and treasured where as today it is taken for granted.
    I wrote about it last week…. (https://cookiecrumbstoliveby.wordpress.com/2016/02/13/desensitized/)
    about this huge disconnect our young people have with physical contact and communication, the alarming increase in teen suicide—how our youth exist now on likes, dislikes, tweets, instagrams, pinning, etc…. preferring to text someone in the same room rather than conversing.
    There is a huge desensitization of the physical taking place. Rather then connecting it is all actually isolating.
    And some would mockingly point out that blogging is just one more piece to the never ending merry-go-round of all of this technology which has become an extension of ourselves—and yes, there is merit in that…it is just another piece of the madness—
    No I don’t do Facebook….I suppose that keeps my world a little smaller. No virtual brag sheet, no total airing of my dirty laundry, a bit more privacy, less voyeurism…and happy without it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m going to go read your post now. I’ve been on and off the internet during this Lenten season, lots of silence and reflection. The Lord asked me to go back on for whatever reason, so I am back on. I post whatever God lays on my heart.
      It is so difficult Julie, I hate it. Some days I cry about it. But I remember that I am being obedient and that God has a plan.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, Melissa, I pray your sweet daughter got the message. I have been off facebook for several years because it took its toll on me, too. The only thing that goes there are the automatic notices when I write a new post. The vitriol from Christians was too hateful, the sarcasm, the group accusations was too much for me to bear. The truth is, I was in mourning over how we treated one another.

    I have been called to be a light on a hill just as you are; just as many are who we know and love. We must surround ourselves with love and light, and think on things which are precious and honorable and pure and loving. It is one of the ways we keep the enemy away and allow the Holy Spirit to give us strength.

    Love you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear you. The Lord asked me to go back on and that’s why I am there. Like I said to Julie, it kills me. But then I see a spark and think Lord, someone feels loved, someone reached out, someone changed. I struggle with it so much.

      Like

  4. “I’ve spoken with many people on a personal and spiritual level about how they portray themselves as one person online, but yet are completely miserable in their real lives…… They are always going places. But where, where exactly are they going?”

    Yes and Yes. Thanks Melissa. I think that social media can be positive. I read lots of great, enlightening and inspiring posts. I filter through the rest as most do. That “like” button can put the focus on “me” but I like to use it to say I appreciate the writer for taking the time to share something that stirred me in some way.

    On the negative side that you “in your great gift of writing” mentioned, I read friends who thank God for blessings when things are good and curse the world when things are not going well. But mostly, presenting a picture that life is perfect when one is miserable seems to be a common theme.

    Thanks for sharing your story with your daughter but most of all your honest reaction. God is really good!

    Liked by 1 person

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