Living abroad, I spend a lot of time scrolling through my favorite social media apps to “see what everyone else is up to.”
Aren’t we all guilty of it??
We live in a society where long-distance relationships are the norm. It’s not uncommon to keep in touch with family, besties, or even significant others via the interwebs.
Joy. Depression. Guilt. Inspiration. Comparison. Confusion. Excitement. Motivation.
This furlough has presented a smack-me-in-the face reality check.
As I have been reconnecting with family and friends stateside, I am continually surprised at the contrast of what is portrayed on our Facebook “walls” versus reality.
A mom who seems to have all of the Pinterest-perfect activities and home decor is struggling to find community because she feels too overwhelmed by her two young children to leave her home.
An individual occasionally documents a super rad adventure on Instagram, but actually lives a pretty mundane life.
Many people have the impression that Ethan and I live a life filled with excitement and constant new experiences. The reality is that we have settled in our Costa Rican home, and while we do have the occasional adventure, most days consist of routines: cooking, cleaning, changing diapers, and working.
Even for the photo on our prayer cards this year… August was crying with heat rash and Aubree was sick, so most of our photos actually turned out like this:
I am not against social media in any way. I am actually really grateful that we live in an era where I can stay connected so easily from thousands of miles away.
But as my favorite comedian John Crist would warn, we need to “check our hearts.”
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
Is it wrong to post our life’s highlights on social media? Absolutely not. But we need to remember the importance of being real with our close friends so that we can actually build one another up and pray for one another. Being connected to social media is not equivalent to being connected to the Church.
I know, for me, I am going to re-think how I keep in touch with my loved ones. It was so hard for me to hear about divorce, loneliness, disease, and struggles that had been going on for months or even an entire year without me having a clue.
Should social media be the place where we are raw and share our most intimate thoughts? No (unless you feel specifically called to do so).
But it also shouldn’t be an escape, a way to avoid genuine relationships that can spur us on in this not-so-Instagram-picture-perfect-life.
Let’s reach out behind the wall and be real. Pray for one another. Support one another. And ultimately:
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.