I am not saying posting these things is bad, or that we should not do it. What I am saying is that we need to be aware of why we are posting. Sometimes we are truly sharing the joys of life, but at other times we’re giving in to our insecurities. What happens when you post a new pic of yourself? Everyone likes it and floods the comments with: OMG, you look gorgeous! WOW, great new haircut! You are so beautiful, and so on. For those of us struggling to remove the masks of insecurity, such praise is like a balm to our fragile self-worth and self-confidence. We crave to hear we’re good enough; we’re desperate to be SEEN as good enough. The internet makes it easier to get that kind of feedback. Which do you think is harder—asking someone face-to-face, “Do you think I am beautiful?” or posting a picture and sitting back to wait for the likes and comments to come flying in? So, about eight months ago I had weight loss surgery. I don’t shout it from the rooftops, but I don’t hide it either. When I reached a significant weight loss goal, everyone kept telling me to post a picture to show the world how much I’d lost. After lots of convincing, I finally did. Here’s a deep dark secret that I can’t believe I am going to put out there. Ever heard the phrase “The lady doth protest too much?” Yes, my insecure self was secretly happy to have my family and friends push me to put up that post! Secretly I wanted that praise! At the time I honestly didn’t think about it this way, but I can see now that deep down I was lying to myself.
I guess my point is this—what is your motivation for posting to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any of the other social media outlets out there? Do you post and then check twenty times a day to see how many “Likes” it gets? In your mind are you really checking to see if anyone likes YOU? Are you counting the comments on how wonderful or beautiful you are? Been there, done that! Are we sharing our lives, or boosting our self-esteem with how many people like our posted lives? I know this is hard to sort out especially since a lot of us use social media and blogging to earn income or share our stories.
That said, keep posting those pictures because like most people, I love seeing them along with all the wonderful things going on in your lives. I love trying your favorite recipes and the cool ideas you come up with for teaching your children new things. I’ll keep commenting and looking for comments from you—we all need encouragement to feel good about ourselves now and again. Just realize, that whether you get a hundred likes and fifty comments or none at all, those things don’t define or validate you. No matter what your background, the Bible says that as creations of God we are all beautifully and wonderfully made. Have you ever considered—how wonderful is that? I picture Jesus up in heaven with a big button that doesn’t stamp us “Liked,” but instead marks us “Loved,” unconditionally! What are you going to do this week to remind yourself that you are your own kind of beautiful?