Honesty or Just a Highlight Reel?
Over the past few years, I have tried to move into a place where I am more positive on social media. I don't want to whine or complain and add to the cacophony of negativity that happens on Facebook and the like. I want to be a voice of hope, joy, and peace. I want to share the beautiful things in life that we are constantly surrounded by all day, every day. But, I have also realized in that, somedays I miss the honesty piece. It can be easy to just present the pretty side of life rather than the wholeness of our experience. It's easy to share the cool places I go, the fun times with friends, the delicious places I eat (Emporium Pies over-posting?). And I skip posting anything about the fight I had with a best friend that is tearing me up inside. I avoid the many nights I spend at home by myself and not hanging out drinking pretty cocktails or trendy beer with friends. I skip the times I feel left out and hurt and lonely.
In skipping the hard parts, I wonder how many people I am alienating. I think one of Satan's biggest lies is telling us that we are all alone. That we are the only ones struggling with some sin, that we are the only ones home on a Friday night, that we are the only ones failing. And if people knew what "losers" we were, they wouldn't ever hang out with us. He whispers (and sometimes shouts) that over us all day, every day. We hear it in each post of someone having more fun than us. We see it when friends who spend time with other friends instead of us, friends who seem to have it more together. And I think there are many people out there who feel so alone. It seems like everyone else is having so much fun and you aren't. I remember life before Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc and I remember that even if you were home alone on a Friday night (which I was a lot, because, well, I was homeschooled), you didn't sit there and see everyone else's fun plans pop up one after the other on Facebook. You might hear about something later and feel left out, but it wasn't nearly as prevalent as social media has made it today.
I value social media for different reasons. Twitter keeps me informed of the news, and makes me laugh with each sarcasm-filled tweet. Facebook reminds me of old friends, and helps me keep in touch what what people are up to. And Instagram (which is my favorite) shows me the beauty and reality of the world around me. I have carefully curated who I follow to see my friends, but also following photographers who travel the world and give me a glimpse into the lives of people from Africa to India to China.
I am wondering how I can take my love of social media and encourage others who are hurting and not add to the left out feeling? How do I live my life and yet be honest and show my real life and not just carefully selected moments of the highlight reel? Have you thought about this before? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!