For anyone who keeps up with my blog regularly, you pretty well know that I have a serious bone to pick with social media, namely, Instagram- (you can read about it here, here, and here). I love it because I love seeing what other people are doing. It genuinely fills me with joy to see people spending time with their family, and friends, reaching milestones in life, accomplishing goals and dreams. I love rejoicing with others’ lives. But with all of that comes the inevitable need to compare all of their lives to my own. I enjoy seeing people I care about and their happiness, but it seems like I can’t keep myself from wondering how my happiness sizes up with theirs. Do I do as adventurous things as them? Do I spend as much time with my friends and family as her? Is my relationship as “godly” as theirs?
I pray that y’all will spare your judgment of me throughout this post and recognize that we all do this. This obsession with portraying our picture-perfect lives while hiding the nitty-gritty, behind-the-scenes stuff runs through each and every one of us. What if instead of cute captions, we posted the reality behind each of our posts? How differently would others see our lives? We are terrified of everyone else knowing the real stuff.
In an effort to provide a real-life example, here is the reality behind several of my Instagram posts (again, spare your judgment please)…
Reality: in general, the way I portray our relationship is all lovey and smiley all the time- but that is absolutely not the reality. There have been struggles and heartaches and almost an end to the relationship. I urge y’all to please, please, please never feel jealous of anyone else’s relationship that you see on social media. We honestly never see the whole picture.
Reality: this picture was not *as* spontaneous as it seemed to be. I took around 5 billion pics before settling on this one and almost wrecked just as many times trying to take it (not recommended- don’t use your phone while driving, kids)
Reality: this looks like just a cute date night for a couple in love, but this night was about repairing damaged hearts and mending injured trust
Reality: I literally kept my finished starbucks drink for hours after I was done, solely for the purpose of taking this picture. Also, I had finished this book for a while, and had no other reason to post about it besides the fact that I just felt the need to post something.
Can I just say that the nitty-gritty, behind-the-scenes stuff is my real life? Looking awkward and smiling weird in pictures is my real life. Being a homebody who is sometimes afraid of adventure is my real life. School, work, and not a whole lot of play is my real life. And cute couple pics? Or people you think are “relationship goals”? Don’t even get me started- that’s another post for another time (coming soon!).
It’s amazing how we (me!!) can so easily become more preoccupied with publishing our lives in a certain way instead of actually living our lives in a certain way.
Spend time connecting with your friends and family instead of wasting time trying to get the perfect “postable” pic.
Spend time in the Word and building your relationship with Christ instead of adding scripture to every selfie you post.
Pray for a godly husband and for God to transform you into a godly wife instead of gawking over “relationship goals”.
Work on your own life, relationships, goals and heart instead of comparing them to someone else’s.
This is not a call to give up social media or to stop striving for cute pictures with your friends. This is not a hate post against the Internet and the modern age we live in. It’s simply a suggestion to maybe not take it all so seriously. Just keep in mind as your scrolling that the illustrations of people’s lives online is absolutely no accurate depiction of what their life is actually like. You can’t allow yourself to get jealous over someone’s “online image” when it most likely isn’t their reality.
You have three options:
Sit there, watch other people’s lives, and pine over them.
Live a fake portrayal of your life through Facebook or Instagram.
Simply live your life.
Living your life seems like the best option to me. God has given you insurmountable blessings. The life you have and the people you are surrounded by are nothing short of gifts straight from Heaven. Don’t take them for granted while trying to live up to someone else’s standards.
Also, remember that your actions and opinions and the way you live your life is solely between you and God. The way that He sees you is far more important than the way you wish others to see you. Living up to God’s expectations should be your goal, not the world’s.