It seems to be that Social Media has become a place where we go to paint an unrealistic picture of our lives. Let me rephrase that, I have used social media as a place to paint an unrealistic picture of my life and if I’m being honest, to envy the unrealistic picture of another’s life. #letsbereal
If you read my last blog, Generation Social Media, you may have noticed the ‘highlights’ of each platform as well as how Ariana, the main character perceived each platform to be. By the way, Ariana is me—you probably knew that but I’ll make it plain just in case you didn’t know, lol.
Anyway, she described social media as though she lived there. The reason for that is because, I—Jasmine—found myself treating social media as a place. What I’ve come to learn in my life—the social media part of it at least—is that I gave it a place it never deserved and I made it a place that it was never meant to be. Before I go any further, let me just say that there is nothing wrong with social media and I’m not against it. BUT, for me, I needed to and still need to withdraw and ‘check my motives’ so to speak.
Now, for me, the social media struggle got real. Firstly, I titled this blog ‘Unfollowed’ because that was one of the biggest struggles I had. If someone unfollowed me it was as though they were against me. I was ready to dismiss them out of my life as a whole—obviously this is with people I know. If I didn’t know them, it still bothered me but not as much.
Then there’s the other side, if someone I knew didn’t follow me at all, I was ready to make a case against them. And can I point out the pride? Not only was I ready to file the complaints against them but I was certain that I would win because I was justified. Yes, it got real. I look back now and I’m like that was so childish. No one owes me a follow, period.
So, I’ve discussed the unfollowed and the no follow blues—but let’s go a little further. The likes and no likes syndrome, the syndrome that says if they don’t like my posts, they don’t like me. Wait, what?! Again, when I look back at that issue I’m like that was so childish. I’m not sure why I would assume such a thing for something so minuscule, but I did. It happened. The end.
My point in mentioning all of the above is that I gave social media a power it never deserved. I was living in ‘Generation Social Media’ where the number of followers I had equalled the number of friends I had and the number of likes I got equaled the number of friends or people who actually liked me. Neither of which are true.
The thing is, social media and the loyalty of my friends and family are independent of one another. Before social media, my family and friends were there so it was wrong of me to allow my social media ‘popularity’ or lack thereof to dictate the loyalty of the people I love who have proven themselves to me time and time again.
I discovered the bigger issue. It’s not whether or not people like me, it’s deeper than that. 1. Do I like myself? 2. Do I know and believe how loved I really am? 3. Am I receiving what I need (the affirmation, security, etc.) from the only Source that can and will sustain me? I’m going to be honest and say that my answer to all of the questions above was no.
If I like myself—or love myself—I won’t see a need to be liked or loved by others. If I know how much I am loved, GOD LOVES ME! MY FAMILY LOVES ME! MY FRIENDS LOVE ME! When I know and believe the Perfect love that God has for me, I don’t need to look for it in other places. I won’t see a need to search for the ‘hearts’ of social media to fill a void that only God can fill. If I know and believe that my family and friends love me, I won’t see a need to question their loyalty on behalf of a social media post that they probably didn’t see in the first place. But even if they did, who cares.
They may not have liked my posts, but were they there for me when I needed a friend? Were they there for me when I needed prayer? Do they spend time with me? Are they praying for me? Can I trust my name in their mouth behind my back? And the list goes on! But I can tell you for sure that my family and my real friends—who are my family, let’s just clear that up—but I can say for sure that they have and continue to do all of the above. Social media has not..social media is not my friend.
Social Media is a platform—not a person or a place. It’s a platform or a tool that’s used to connect and share our lives with who we choose to share it with. My profiles are public—well my Instagram and Twitter are because I choose to share some things publicly. My Facebook is more for family and friends, not the whole world lol. Ultimately, social media is a tool and it’s up to us how we use it, perceive it and the power we give it.
Let’s keep social media in its place. Y’all, I’m learning too!! You’ll find that in all of my blogs I’m preaching to me too! Now, let’s talk: have you ever struggled with any of the above? When did you notice it? How did you get over it?
Share this blog on social media—yes, I went there lol—or with someone who may need it! 🙂
Social Media is a platform and no matter how many followers or likes you have–or don’t have, you are enough! Your identity and your social media presence are independent of one another. Don’t allow yourself to look to social media for your worth and value, your worth and value are found in Jesus.