All right, I admit it. I’m on social media- Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and of course, my website. In this modern culture, that’s the rule, not the exception. Virtually everyone I know is on social media – and even some of their pets, to boot. I certainly have posted my fair share of cat photos. It’s a bit ridiculous how many profile pics are floating out there. Some are obscene; some are funny. Some are glamorous and some are downright narcissistic.
Yes, narcissism. Here we go. It’s an easy thing to get sucked into. In a world where promotion is the name of the game, how, exactly, does one navigate social media without a little (or a lot of, let’s be real) promotion of self?
With all of this “me, myself and I” going on out there, are we, therefore, reaching newer levels of self-awareness? Or, are we just self-interested?
Yikes. Did the room just get a smidge uncomfortable? In a sea of profile pics or “selfies” as they’re often called, are we really dealing with ourselves as we should? Is it all just vanity run amok?
If that’s the case, well, scripture tells us we’re deceived and ultimately, we won’t profit from it when it really counts.
Let not him that is deceived trust in vanity: for vanity shall be his recompense.Job 15:31
Surely God will not hear vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it.Job 35:13
And sometimes, our self-interest even makes us stumble – literally. Ever hear of the recent phenomenon of accidents while texting? I’m not just talking about the no-no of texting while driving. I’m talking about situations in which people of all ages and backgrounds are literally tripping, running into walls and falling down because they are so into posting, tweeting and communication involving their handheld devices, they simply do not see where they are going!!!
Before you laugh or judge, think, have you been elsewhere, in social media land when you should have been present in a conversation with a family member or friend? How about talking to God? Have you avoided a present real world situation by getting lost in Facebook or Twitter? I have. You check out one cute photo and suddenly, it is three hours later and you’re still on the blasted site!
And meanwhile, we’re convinced by the image of selfies – our own and others. The adage of “nothing is as it seems” fits precisely concerning the social media situation. Let’s face it, we don’t purposely post ourselves at our worst, like when we have the flu; we shoot, instead, for our best foot forward. And sometimes we blatantly lie about that presentation!
We behold social media image as extremely important. And God? Well, maybe not so much.
How’s this for a reality check?
“Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up.” Jeremiah 18:15
We often miss a huge point. In order to truly see ourselves, we have to get over ourselves; we have to seek God. He sees us as we truly are, not just some manipulated selfie profile picture.
For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.James 1:23-25
Do we value our self-image, our presentation of it to the “outside world” more than our relationship with God? It’s a squirmy question, isn’t it? It’s not about ignoring ourselves or having a poor self-image; it’s about possessing a HEALTHY one. And all of us need some work in that area.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Romans 3:23
We don’t need to completely abandon social media or avoid cameras for the rest of our lives. We need to seek God. It’s an easily spouted answer, yet more challenging to put into practice. And we certainly need practice!
So, the next time we check in with social media, update a profile pic or tweet, let’s allow that to serve as a reminder to check in with God. He knows exactly what our status is at all times; He sees our “selfie” situation perfectly.