I’m a social media hypocrite. If you were to scroll through my Instagram feed for the past several months, you’d think my life was all sunshine and rainbows. In a way, I’ve led you to believe that. And that’s a blatant lie. Now, don’t get me wrong, life is great. God is good, and those church events, concerts, and vacations really did happen. But so did a lot of other things. Scrolling through the pictures I’ve handpicked to put up on social media, you see highlights. You see good days. You see me trying to convince the rest of the world, and in turn myself, that life is great and that I’m content and joyful.
But there’s a lot you don’t see. You don’t see how exhausted and physically drained that great day made me. You don’t see that I couldn’t get out of bed for two days afterwards because I was so sick. No one knows that when I post happy throwback pictures, it’s because I’m trying to boost my own shattered self confidence and there’s not any current pictures on my phone. My feed doesn’t tell of the broken hearts, the hopeless doctors’ verdicts, or the anxiety attacks. No mention is made of rude customers at work, of failed Calculus tests, or of feeling isolated and alone.
Now I’m not saying this is wrong, I don’t think we have to, or necessarily should post all of our woes on the internet. I don’t think that would help much of anything, and frankly, I’m not too keen on sharing my hard days with a couple hundred people. But the problem is this — we are ALL social media hypocrites. Far too often, we forget that crucial fact.
“The reason why we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” — Steven Furtick
All I see of other people’s lives, is what they want me to see, what they choose to put out there, what makes them feel good about themselves. But what do I see of myself? I see every failure. I see every hard day. I see every headache and tear and insult. And I fall into the trap of comparison. I fall into the clutches of the nasty monster that is self pity. I start complaining and cease to be content with the life God has blessed me with.
Life is hard for everyone. Just because they put up a smiling picture doesn’t mean life is perfect or that they’re not hurting inside. We can’t take social media at face value anymore. All that’s doing is sparking envy, causing us to think we want what others have. Thinking we want their lives, when in actuality, we probably don’t. God has specifically equipped each person with the strength to take on the challenges He knows are in front of them. I’m not made to live your life and you’re not made to live mine. Instead of saying “oh poor me, I’m at home alone while so and so is out having fun with friends” we have to learn to be content with our own lives knowing that no one lives a picture perfect life.
“Keep your life free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”” — Hebrews 13:5
I’m a social media hypocrite. And that’s okay. It’s fine that I pick and choose what parts of my life to broadcast to the world. As long as I realize that everyone is doing this. As long as I don’t compare the hidden parts of my life to the highlighted parts of someone else’s. Remember that the next time you scroll through social media. And remember that it’s more than enough to know that God will NEVER leave not forsake us. And then maybe, just maybe, we can put social media in its place and learn to be content and joyful with all that God has blessed us with.