I’m 31, born in 1985. Just saying I was born in the “19” something makes me sound old to some people. It kind of does to me too. I feel like I have been doing this thing called “life” for a really long time but, in reality I am still just a young soul.
Growing up I remember having conversations with my grandma about when television was invented, when the radio stations began, when landlines became a thing, even jamming to Jock Jams with her while she vacuumed. (will always be my absolute favorite memory of her and I am pretty sure Jock Jams is on their like 200th album) I remember having these conversations with her and thinking, “WOW” this woman has seen it all. Then cell phones began. I remember growing up and only the “super rich” people had HUGE phones in their cars. Like you had made it if your car had a phone in it. Then they went to be these huge bag phones you carried around with you. I mean can you imagine now a days? Carrying this extra bag that pretty much held a landline phone in it? Then we got rid of the bag and we just had a big phone. Then here came smaller phones, smarter phones and now we seem to be back to bigger phones. You get the gist of it all. My point is the same conversations I had with my grandma are ones I will have with my own kids and grandchildren about the invention of the cell phone. Only the conversation will be much different…
Having these conversations with my grandma about television and music I don’t ever remember it being a “negative” thing. I don’t feel like back then people really had a problem with checking their tvs too much or never turning off the radio. I mean I am sure there were some that probably abused the two but, it wasn’t really a “thing” I think about having to talk to my own kids about cell phones, even worse how AWFUL I am at modeling what I will have to tell them one day, or even just what they see from me now. One day when I am old and gray I am sure I will have this conversation of how cellphones were invented and came about. I am praying by then they don’t have their faces stuck in one the whole time I am talking. Or that I don’t as well.
I can’t speak for anyone but me but, what I can say is I personally have used my phone way too much way too many times. I check it way too often, I depend on it way too much, and I put this stupid expensive piece of nothing before the people I love the most. Makes me sick to my stomach to even think that. I use this little device to define my worth, my status, my position, my power, my popularity, my reputation, my kids achievements, and so much more. I’m just being honest here. I find myself clinging to this thing far too often. Then I look at the Bible sitting next to my bedside table and think if only I depended and clung to that just as much as I do that stupid phone. If only I picked that up to really find my worth, to know I have NO power, to know my “status” and positions don’t really matter, to know my children are made in HIS image and He created them perfectly. If only instead of searching Google for my answers I searched His word.
I use this piece of technology to find so many answers. I use it to fill a void. I use it as a way to turn off what is really going on around me. I use it as a numbing device.
Maybe you do as well or maybe you are someone that has found a healthy balance with it all. I myself am still working on that. I hate to admit all the things above but, that’s some of my reality right now. I have taken the breaks from all social media, and I must say it felt AMAZING! But, as soon as I got back on them I slowly drifted right back to where I was. So I am working on not finding a temporary fix but a actual solution for me personally that can help me stay checked into reality and not this falseness of some other world.
How easy does the enemy send us into comparison through those little square images? For me personally I am not a over the top pinterest kinda mom. Like I book the party, we show up, we eat cake and pizza and call it a day. Man, how easy it is for me to get on social media though and think I should have done more. I should have had more balloons. Why did I do cupcakes? I should have had a cake shaped like my childs head, LOL. You get what I am saying! I am by no means knocking those kind of moms, it’s amazing to witness you use your gift, but why oh why do I let the enemy tell me that what I did was not enough? Even when my kid is having the time of their life, not worried one bit if I did or didn’t put a balloon here or there, or go with a cupcake cake over a cookie cake. You know? Or you get a new car, then you check Facebook to see your friend down the street got the newest and baddest car on the market and then all of a sudden the car that you were so happy with has now become “not good enough” all because of one little square image. This is not ok! This is 100% the enemy at work in our hearts and our lives.
I posted a photo yesterday I had professionally done by a new sweet friend. I am standing in a coffee shop, holding a coffee cup, & I don’t drink coffee, that right there is a point I am trying to make…. (Once I told her this we switched my cup to a water cup) But I posted this photo and a wise friend said “I love how I can look at those photos and not compare but just admire” Pretty profound words in my opinion. Like, I want to look at you and whatever part of your life you are sharing and know I am me, you are you, and I can celebrate in that… not become envious, go try to keep up with you, or feel like I don’t add up. But just celebrate whatever it is your family is winning in.
Social media also has this way of making everyones life look REALLLLLLLY good, much better than it probably is. I have always loved the saying “It’s just the highlight reel to the movie” Because when we are honest we don’t usually post when we feel like our marriage is barely hanging on, when one of our kids is acting out and making poor choices, when we ourselves are living in complete sin. We don’t really share the hard and truthful moments. Instead we just share these beautiful photos that lead people to think we’ve got it all together, when behind that screen people are dieing, marriages are failing and sin is reigning.
I think of the beautiful and admirable Lysa TerKeurst. A woman God has clearly anointed and appointed. How after years of fighting for her marriage she had to address all the women that follow her and let us all know she had been fighting a battle NONE of us knew a thing about. Her husband had been abusing substances and committing some form of adultery for a while. BUT if you looked through her social media accounts for the past few years, you would NEVER know. Not because she was hiding anything but, because we are fighting things privately that don’t always have to be shared publicly. But we make assumptions off of what is public and forget there is private, and that we are all flawed, broken sinners in need of a Savior. When she decided to go public with what she had been battling for years I remember Ricky and I talking and realizing not one of us is immune. Sin can devour each of us if we allow it. I remember thinking, wow, you would have never known. And you wouldn’t have. But that is this falsehood behind these square images. They are all just pretty glances into our own broken lives.
I love seeing when people share the messy. I love seeing when people share how God has redeemed their broken. And I believe that is what we are called to do. It’s in the moments of brokeness where we see Him the most. So, there’s got to be some good in all of this right? I like to think there is. I don’t think for a second true community can be done through a screen or a social media account. What I do believe is connections can be formed that could turn into community. It does take putting the screen down and getting belly to belly with someone. That is where true community is done, around kitchen tables, in living rooms, at coffee shops, doing life, OFF the screen. I believe you can meet some amazing people that you may have never met before. It’s pretty amazing how social media can allow us to keep up with our friends that live on the other side of the country. It also allows us to spread the message of Christ to a mass audience. We have the ability to share our faith and how God is moving and invest and invite people to join us in Bible studies and church. It really can be a beautiful outlet.
I write all of this in hopes it might wake someone up reading this behind the screen. Because I, myself, need to be woken up. I am missing real life people and moments because I’ve got my face tucked away in a phone with people that don’t even know me. I am consumed with who’s following and “liking” me instead of who’s face to face with me saying, “lets do life”
I don’t want to waste these days away behind a screen. I love blogging, I love sharing with you all, but I want it to be healthy. I don’t want to compare or compete with you. I want to celebrate you. But man more than anything, I want to fully love my people. I want to love God, my husband and my kids more than anything or anyone else in this world. I want the people that mean the most to come first. I want them to get the absolute best of me, not the leftovers.
I am still trying to figure out what this all looks like for me personally. Maybe you feel like you’ve mastered this. If so, I would love to hear from you. I plan on writing a update soon of somethings I am going to be doing to be wiser with my time and energy. When my kids and grandkids ask me one day what it looked like to watch the cellphone come about I want to be able to tell them, without having my face tucked into one. And dear Lord, please let me NEVER forget Grandma Freddie dancing to Jock Jams 7 as she vacuumed her house. 🙂