1) It's fake. You are seeing (depending on how much a person posts) maybe 10% of a person's life. So many people don't know how to be authentic. I had to quit following a gal who has chosen to move into a not-so desirable part of town to minister to people. I admire this. I really do and I actually really like her as a person. On more than one occasion she has said that she doesn't show the really hard parts because that would further the stereotypes that already exist about the poor. While, I agree, some people, sadly, would use that as an excuse to further marginalize others, but it also does not paint a complete picture of just how hard it is to live where she lives. As authentic as she wants it to be, it isn't. I want the whole, ugly picture. Not part of it. At least if it's supposed to be.
2) People that are authentic are often times torn apart by other's opinions. I only follow people who are willing to say that life is hard. That the rooms don't stay clean and their kids don't always obey. This helps us relate to one another instead up prop each other up. Sadly, though it's these people, the ones to really open up and let others in that get the rudest comments of all.
3) Because most of us don't know how to be authentic and we end up comparing ourselves to the picture instead of the reality. So yeah, I see the picture that lady has a beautiful home school room with children working on a sculpture of the Leaning Tower of Pisa while she reads aloud from The Story of the World and I think, "Whaaaaaaat???? Whyyyyy can't my house look like that? Why don't my kids like to build towers like that?? They just like to build guns!! They're for sure going to grow up and want to kill someone!" What this gal doesn't say is that this is a "moment" in her life. Her kids are just like your kids. Rotten. A lot of the time, anyway. And right after she took that picture the tower fell apart because someone didn't want to share the environmentally safe glue.
4) Words don't matter any more and we are cowards. This is possibly one of the saddest parts of all. And this isn't just the kids is it? There is something about the anonymity of the Internet that makes us ok with being jerks with our words. Grown up folks just acting a fool. I mean, really. Ok, so I know that people have always been jerks. There is nothing new here. The difference is that I'm not looking at a person (whom hopefully, I could have compassion for even if we disagree). I'm looking at a screen. I'm certain that half of what people say to complete strangers online, would never be said aloud to an actual person. I had a women recently tell me via Instagram that I should "worry about the environment more because all those kids you're raising aren't going to have a planet to live on." Yes, I've had people say this to my face too, but still this lady doesn't know me from Adam. And at least those people said it to my face.
5) Our self importance has become greater than ever and we have forgotten that it's ok for someone to have another opinion that might not line up with our own. We get on a soapbox about every.single.little.itty.bitty.tiny.thing. All the things. We have an opinion them all. The lady mentioned above was chastising another women for nursing too long. It had zero to do with environmental problems. This lady? Doesn't have a kid. Not a single.one. 'Nuf said. I think I proved my point.
6) We don't even know truth from opinion. Because we live in a post modern society, where whatever floats your boat is truth leaves us without a compass so we feel like things that are mere opinion, like how long a mother chooses to nurse an infant, is Gospel. And it's not. It's just not. Mothers and women can be the worst. There are certain things that I feel very strongly are best, whether it is just a simple matter of life, motherhood, wifeing, working or whatever, but I have learned that humility goes a long way towards encouragement and most people are just don't the best with what they have. That mom doesn't need to hear about how she is being selfish by continuing to nurse. She just doesn't. Of course, there is a way in which to say ones opinion humbly without making it sound like the other person (remember we are people?) is stupid. Sometimes, presenting another view is just what is needed. But mostly, we would all do well to talk (or type rather) a lot less and encourage more in areas that aren't even close to being the Gospel. My new Insa. profile says, "Get of your soap box. Your opinion doesn't matter as much as you think it does. ~me" Yes, I realize that is a very "soap boxy" statement. I love irony. :)
7) It's hard to remember what really matters. We fill our faces with our phones. We carry them around like we would a child. Again, this isn't going to change any time soon is it? They do make life easier. A lot easier. And so, our eyes are fixed, literally, on our screens. So I need to remember what really matters. I need to be salt and light to a dying world. Fixing my eyes on Christ is what is most important. This is a lot easier said than done, I know. You can start this by reading His Words. Even when you don't want to (preaching to myself here) or when other things that are also important seem to push it out of the way. Just read it. Without any expectations. He will meet you there, though you may not feel like He is. Then tell someone about what you're reading. Maybe do it over coffee or tea or whatever. Just do it face to face. And don't answer any pings (unless, of course it's your husband telling you that your daughter threw up...again.) You should answer that one.
Nope, social media isn't going away is it? I pray that you and I continue to fight for truth in a way that is honorable to the high calling in which we are called....that we will see people as people that mostly, need us to lift them up...in prayer and encouragement. I pray that you and I would fix our eyes on Jesus as we scroll....