Oh, hi! Remember me? It’s been a while…okay, 6 months to be exact, since I’ve written my diary posts. I take full responsibility for my absence, but have to share the blame with Mexico for providing such a beautiful distraction in my life. Ahhh…. Mexico.
I hope all of you will forgive me! I feel like so much has changed in the last 6 months. I’m over here trying to play catch up! And by catch up, I am definitely not trying to “catch ‘em all”. Not like the college kid on a bike that I almost ran over who was blindly searching for Pokemon creatures. What the hell is Pokemon Go anyway? All of these virtual changes are crazy! And, now we have Instastories? As if Snapchat wasn’t enough. How will I ever keep up?!
I have to admit, I’ve been in a bit of a writer’s rut and it’s been hard to break out of. I’ve wanted to get to my keyboard and write so many things, but when my fingertips hit the keys, I have been drawing a blank. Maybe it’s from all of the distractions happening around us. And I think maybe it’s been a good thing for me. In the time I’ve spent avoiding the diary posts I should be writing, I’ve been doing more observing and listening. One thing I’ve noticed is the way our language has changed. The way we communicate to each other and what we are talking about has changed. It’s like we are always looking for some affirmation of what we are doing, seeing, thinking… which brings me to the subject of this diary post: Looking for Likes in All the Wrong Places.
Recently I was talking with one of my good friends, Lynsey and the conversation was very raw and emotional as I explained to her that I was getting caught up in the likes and comments in my life. Those virtual hearts and thumbs up were fueling my emotions. The comments about my Instagram post were changing my mood, dictating how my day would go. I was so involved in this virtual acceptance that I lost sight of what is important.
As I noticed that this had been happening in my own life, I also saw the likes and comments fueling other people’s emotions around me.
I heard my friends having conversations containing of things like:
“He LIKED my PIC!!!” and “OMG she unfollowed me..” oh and my favorite, “Did you see her comment???”
And I think to myself, this cannot seriously be how we are communicating! Why do we put so much value in the comments, the likes, the dislikes, throwing shade, etc? When has the virtual world, powered by the phone in our hands, started to be the source of validation for ourselves? If I post an #OOTD (Outfit of the Day, for you non-hashtaggers) and no one comments, does that mean I should change my clothes? If I cut my hair and post something on Instagram, and someone comments saying how horrible it looks, should I get some extensions ASAP? Why do we look to the virtual world for this validation?
I mean, we put our “best” selves forward to the camera. We have become so extremely skilled at the right angles, shots & filters that, in all honesty, we have either forgotten or don’t even know who are real self is anymore. And for what? To get that one person’s attention? Or to find value and self-worth when hitting 2k likes on a post that took 48 attempts to FINALLY get that ONE picture right?
I’m not gonna lie, it’s super tough to follow Jesus and try to balance my walk in a selfie-centered world. Especially when you are competing with those who #WENTALLOUTFORTHEGRAM. It’s hard!
So let’s listen to what my boy Matthew has to say: “No one can serve two masters, because either he will hate one and love the other, or be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and riches!” (Matthew 6:24 in case you wanna give that a little reading later).
Oh dang! BOOM! POW! IN YO FACE! Okay, not really but you get what I’m saying? How can we serve ourselves and Him if we are trying to get approval from an un-approving and self-centered virtual world? How can we focus on what’s important, when we are being told that it’s important to have more likes!?
Truthfully, I love social media. I do. It’s fun! You can engage, find inspiration, check up on your niece you haven’t seen in awhile…I’m a fan! And it has been a great way for me to connect with all of you! It’s not all bad. I love when you all read my diary posts and comment back. I smile when you think my #OOTD is perfect for summer in Dallas. I think what I needed though, was 6 months of observing to break my emotional ties to the amount of likes I was getting. I needed some time to figure out what that really meant in my life and to value myself for who I am, not what people think I am.
I’m just hoping you don’t think your value lies in it all. And if you do, take some time to observe rather than participate. See what happens when you step out of the virtual chaos.
Hashtag The End.