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social media & digital discernment: a bloggers mid life crisis

Posted Jul 09 2013 3:15am
This is the problem I have with Facebook and social media:

And it is that there is so much more to me that you don’t see.

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Facebook is not the whole story.

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{the one moment of peace before Taylor got attacked by ants and Chloe was too hot, and Jimmy became bored.}
~~~~~~~

Sometimes I get lost in my day of laughter and joy and fun with loved ones and there isn’t one picture to prove it happened.

Sometimes I have an ache so deep, a fear so intense, that I could never share it publicly in that moment.

Sometimes there are moments and feelings that words or a status update could never begin to capture.

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{i was having a panic attack and taking a bath to soothe my emotions while he read my bible to help me.}
~~~~~~~

Sometimes that smile I show in a picture you see, is actually a smile masking a world of insecurity behind it.

“Don’t smile too big, you’ll show too much of your gums.”
“Suck in your tummy, and make sure to angle those thighs…”

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{“you’re not tiny enough, pretty enough, but pretend anyway…”}
~~~~~~~

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{deep in the trenches of anxiety and insomnia. i hadn’t eaten or slept much in weeks and could only smile with the help of medication}
~~~~~~~

My marriage has had it’s struggles, big ones, and in those times it simply remained between my husband and I and the Lord.
Facebook never knew.
But you saw pictures of us smiling and it seemed all was well.

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{smile though your heart is hurting…}
~~~~~~~

Sometimes a person and their life are so much more than the images and status updates you’ll ever see online.

Even with a person like me that shares so much…
There is happiness and joy…hurt and sorrow…that are sometimes too much or too precious to ever reduce to 180 characters.

We have access to so much of peoples lives, and yet I think we often forget that what we see is TRULY just the tip of the iceberg.
There is so much more to it than we may ever know or see.

It haunts me to see social media being used in a way (often unintentionally) that is hurtful or confusing to us all.

It causes hurt and envy.
It creates judgement and pride.

“Why wasn’t I..”  

“Why can’t I…?”  

“I would never…!”  

“So glad I don’t….!”

What began with Facebook making me cry , has lead to me really searching my heart in regards to writing and social media.

I’ve often referred to “this place” as The Bloggers Mid-Life Crisis.
Which for me, tends to happen at least once a year.

I’ve been here before, kind of, but it’s never been quite like this.
This time I realize it goes far beyond Blogging & Social Media.

And the other night I found myself taking notes and realizing it truly is a heart issue.

“What is this all for?
All that we put our everything into?

‘Look at me! It’s all about me!!  Look here, and now here, me again!!!’

I’m so very guilty.
But I long to make it different.

How can I continue to do what I love and long to do, and make it less about me and more about Him?
How do I stop conforming?
How do I change from my core?

I know I need to stop looking at what others are doing, and instead take a long hard look at myself and fix what is so broken and sinful in me.”

Those were my notes that then lead me to this article, Social Media & Digital Discernment , by my favorite Pastor & Teacher, John MacArthur.

It was this quote that I haven’t been able to shake, and I realize it needs to be my new motto for not just social media & blogging, but for my life:

“Like Paul & every other believer, my life is no longer my own. The focus must not be on me, but on Christ. When someone hears from me publicly, I want it all to point to Him.”

Maybe the answer isn’t quitting the online community altogether, but rather changing how we use it.

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