Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter, Periscope, Youtube, blah blah blah.
The avenues to display yourself in a tiny icon are endless! Let’s not even think about the extensive emoticon selections. Most of the content on social media highlights temporary physical attributes and magnifies them out of proportion to real life. It’s fantastic right?! As bad as we want to look away (because we know our time is spent better in our real lives) our eyes remained locked and our fingers remain perfectly fixed in “tap and swipe” positions.
“Like” “Follow” “Post” “Reply” and before we say goodbye one last “Pic”
We feel it is so urgent to post our lives and thoughts on these websites that we interrupt intimate moments (WAIT! I need a picture), and even put ourselves and others at risk while driving (despite common sense and laws). We cannot resist commenting on that totally ridiculous post we saw or defending the victim getting eaten alive by the e-bullies. WE WILL BE BRAVE HEROES THROUGH GRIPPING COMMENTS! Meanwhile, hours upon hours of time a week rot away slowly by exploring “cyberworld.”
Maybe you are one of the few humans that sees past the madness and wants nothing to do with the internet. THANK YOU FOR STANDING FIRM AND REBELLING AGAINST THIS NORM. But even if you are free, I know your life is not because your loved ones constantly remind you, “Oh yeah, you’re not on Facebook.” as if you have some sort of debilitating condition. This dependency on social media affects everyone whether we like it or not. Our world has changed. Contrary to popular belief, I do not consider it a change for the better.Its so easy to point the finger at the nauseating Kardashians and their sheep, objectifying the human body and polluting the world with distasteful and foolish ideologies. They are easy targets. So lewd, so reckless, so shallow. At the heart of the matter is this: they are promoting self. The best thing they have going for them is what they thrust in our faces every thirteen and a half minutes. They are boasting about themselves, their lives, and they share themselves constantly. Are we different at the heart? Let’s be honest. Do we really share for the sake of sharing or has it turned into something else when we weren’t paying attention, distracted by approval, popularity, and bliss that is ignorance. Ignorance to the fact that we rarely call; we text. Ignorance to the fact that our favorite “posters” are isolated and lonely. Ignorance to the reality that we care more about “likes” and “reposts” than we do “smiles” and “hugs.” Do you remember the year 2003? It was the last year we as a people were free from Facebook. Take a moment to remember where you were. Who was your best friend? What did your phone look like or did you even have one? We are the last generation that will remember a world without social media. The kids coming up now never knew another way. In case you haven’t noticed most of them are pretty messed up. It’s up to us to call it how it is and shed light on the dark pit of “ANTISOCIAL MEDIA.”Displaying our most valuable assets online is so urgent to us, because with every passing day we are getting what is considered by the vast majority – worse, closer to death, older, dated. So we desperately send ourselves into a furry of staying in the know and following the ones who seem to know. (WHO ARE THEY FOLLOWING ANYWAY?) Searching for acceptance, companionship, or love online is so intriguing to us because we aren’t getting it in our real lives anymore. Social media has mutated into a desperate plea for “friends” and a distraction from our empty uneventful lives. When we finally do start living we have to make sure everyone knows that we’re living and post a picture for proof! If people can get a quick fix of 5 likes, 1 request, and a compliment from a stranger, then they don’t have to worry about calling 2 old friends, making a random connection at the grocery store, sharing an ice cream sundae or showing kindness to a stranger on their way home. They are totally distracted and preoccupied by virtual reality.
I’ve got news. As hard as I try to be transparent and genuine with my web presence, I am not totally me here. You would have to know me in the REAL WORLD to really know me. MY POINT is, social media is not real. Even if you used to know people and you “reconnected” on Facebook, you still don’t really know them now. You know about them (at least what they want you and 400 other people to know about them). It’s not the same. This is the reason that we need to stop allowing the internet to take time away from the real world. It’s just not the same. It NEVER will be. INVENTION WILL NEVER SATISFY THE NEED FOR CREATION. That’s why we can never get enough. It’s a tease, a fix. SOCIAL MEDIA IS A DRUG AND IT’S KILLING US. It’s robbing us of intimacy. It’s tainting our memories. It’s magnifying our insecurities. It’s dividing the human race into interests, political groups, and friends lists. We are reducing our identity to profiles and photo filters, our intellect to memes and comments. We are wasting away and selling everything we hold dear for one last hit.Social media masquerades as a tool to make real connections in the real world, but it is actually an excuse to not connect. We don’t need to, don’t have time, or simply don’t care to connect in reality because we’ve been deadened by the frequent updates of 300 melodramatic strangers. Do you really want this to be your life?
Busy busy busy. “Too busy to hold my friend as she cries, so I’ll send a text that I’m praying for her.” Social social social. “I’m so social that I’m the administrator for 3 groups on Facebook, and I meet with the exact same small group every other week for some real life application.” Needy needy needy. “Do you like my picture? Isn’t my kid cute? Look I’m in a good mood today! Look everyone! Here’s a feel good quote to prove it. All the while I feel empty inside whenever I’m quiet enough to think.” Is this what you are going to do with your life? How much time are you going to give to the internet?
You are getting older. You are getting weaker. It’s harder to walk up stairs than it was last year. Your bones are losing mass and becoming more brittle. Your mind isn’t as sharp as it used to be. You have less energy. You are getting closer to the end of your life with every passing moment. I don’t care if you’re 22 or 57. You are not physically what you used to be. MY POINT RIGHT?! WHY AM I HARPING ON THIS?! Because the vast majority of us are in denial about life and death. If you don’t realize how precious and delicate life really is, if you don’t realize that nothing is guaranteed, if you think the here and now, the physical – is IT. Then you’re missing IT. If you think how people (including yourself) perceive you, is actually more important than how and who you truly are, then it’s time to get REAL.
Reality is more important that perception. The real world is more important than your profile and timeline. Does the way you spend your time on this earth reflect that truth? When it’s over will they talk about your posts and pictures or will they celebrate your life? Will anyone even know you well enough to come to your funeral or will they just click the sad face when its gets around that you’re gone? Are you deeply loved and appreciated or superficially liked and approved?
Honestly, think about it.
Accept some truth about life and death. The spiritual and the physical. Even your emotions and thoughts are physical. Personality is physical. These things are actually chemicals, synapses, reactions that take place in the body, in the brain, hormones, etc. Some of them are actually coded in your DNA. You can literally take pills to change those things. You can switch from elated to frustrated in traffic in 1 split second – because it’s all fickle. But YOU, who you really are, is not. You are not your body. You are not your personality or emotions. You are not your memories or your opinions. These are all things that you have. Circumstances have shaped these physical qualities. Things that add to your life and the way that you live, yes; but not things that make you WHO YOU ARE.
I am sexy. People envy me. I am fit. I am not fat. I make people laugh. I’m big and I love it. I feel good. People want to sleep with me wherever I go. People waste their time looking at my wonderful selfies. People like my witty remarks. I have knowledge. I am talented. Some of these things are empty and some of these things have value. None of these things should define you or be the source of value for you.
Beauty is beauty. It is a gift. But it is one of the most easily corrupted, most vain, and fleeting gifts I know of. Wait! Is it really even a gift?! Who cares? What can a beautiful person do that an average person can’t? And who writes the book on beauty? Who says what’s beautiful or not? Ohhhh… there you go. Start thinking. That’s right. Someone started twisting the truth and spreading the lies. Save those deep thoughts for later, seekers. We are all beautiful, but beautiful doesn’t mean what it used to because of… you guessed it. TECHNOLOGY. Maybe if you weren’t brainwashed by the media you’d actually belief you were beautiful without all those expensive toxins all over your skin. Here’s a wonder, older people know more and have been through more trials. So why doesn’t everyone get on social media and follow the experienced people that made it further than any of us (besides the fact that they don’t want to spend their last days pasted to an electronic device)? If it was really about health and wellness, then for one, there would be way more words than pictures, and for two, we wouldn’t be listening to people who haven’t been around long enough to even know if they’re right or not. It’s definitely more about beauty, youth, and sex then the average person wants to admit. The world we are exposing ourselves to is demanding us to be forever young, impossibly aesthetically beautiful at all costs (even our health and sanity), and to thrust ourselves at whosoever is willing to notice; begging for shallow connections, meaningless approval, and fleeting attention. Social media and culture are pumping us full of lies so gradually and with such spectacular technique that we don’t even notice we are slipping into moral decay and mutilating our value systems beyond recognition. You actually think you are watching everyone else go crazy and dumb and they’re looking at you like “HOW SAD. THIS WORLD IS SO LOST.” YOU ARE NOT IMMUNE. I AM NOT IMMUNE. WE ALL HAVE TO WAKE UP.
The truth is: beauty and health fade eventually, no matter what. Memories fade away. Your personality can change over the years. You will come to a point in your life when you are not physically strong and you are unattractive physically. Would you still be you if you were in a terrible accident that left you in a coma, with no memories and scars leaving you unrecognizable? Yes! Because you are a spiritual person (whether you like it or not). You can suppress and ignore all you want but people are spiritual beings and our physical bodies keep us here in the physical world. We will all die physically (there are few exceptions). Yes, you can slow it down. People who say they can reverse aging are basically exaggerating (which is a form of lying) for marketing purposes. They can undo some of the damage they did by being kind to their body and stop doing the things that bring on death faster, but they cannot reverse aging in order to actually become younger. (Ever seen Benjamin Button?) No matter what, when we fall sleep and wake up that’s one day down and however many to go. We cannot control life and death. That is for God.
God also judges what no man or woman can – the heart. Social media can really be a gauge for what’s going on inside the heart if you care enough to be honest with yourself. Ask, “Why you do the things that you do (good and bad)?” I personally am ONLY active on social media in order to network and connect so that these words reach hearts. If you’d ask my friends and family they’d tell you that for the majority of my adult life I have had no social media at all. That being said, I am very intentional and remind myself constantly why I’m active on social media because it’s like a black hole sucking me into the unknown! It’s craziness! But what’s important to me is that I write this blog to tell the truth. Ask yourself what’s important to you and make the choices that support those convictions. My mission is to tell the truth to as many people as possible because someone told me the truth and I am grateful. I love you. Obviously, not in an intimate way because I don’t know you. I love you in a universal way because I know that you and I are equally invaluable and wonderful. The truth is that you have a purpose. You were created on purpose (even if your parents didn’t know or care). Even if you have been abused or mistreated. It truly does not matter what people think about you. You are created to love and connect with those same people and there is love out there for you. You worth is not dependent on their love and approval. Your worth is that you are powerful enough to choose love, no matter what.
Love is not what the media and culture say it is. There are not enough followers, not enough likes, heart shapes, or even enough friends to provide you with the love you long to find.
THE DEFINITION OF LOVE : Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in wickedness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthian 13:4-7)
Love is not emotional and it is not physical. It can be the cause of emotions that lead you to do things in the physical, but it is spiritual. Love is eternal and it is not contingent on anyone or anything. Love can be found in anyone, but it is not in everyone. Love conquers all. If the “love” you have given or received does not sound like this, then it is either flawed or fraudulent. Fraudulent is unacceptable. Flawed is all we are capable of because our world and everything we possess has been influenced by lies. Lies can’t do anything at all if you don’t believe them. At their worst, they can merely distract you or confuse you. But it’s the ones that we displace truth for and believe, the lies that we live are lives by, those are the ones that rob, destroy and eventually kill beauty and goodness. They warp our view of love.
Have you been looking for love? I know where to find it. But one thing I’ll tell you right now is that you have to be prepared to receive before you find it. It’s heavy. If you search and find what you are looking for before you are prepared to receive it then you might just pass it up. Are you sure that you want to find something bigger than yourself? Can you humble yourself enough to cling to something that you can’t fully understand? IF love is so amazing that everyone in the world wants it, don’t you think it would be the most awe inspiring, amazing, vast thing ever? Don’t you think that something that great, would be challenging to understand? Do you imagine it would be complex enough to stump geniuses and simple enough for a child to recognize? Wouldn’t it be powerful enough to destroy evil yet gentle enough to heal the burning wounds of hearts all over the world? Do you think that you are able to fully understand love? Are you that deep? I’m not. I don’t think anyone is. If love doesn’t fit into your box made for a few of your wants and preferences, then you will simply miss out. Because love is not dependent upon anything including your current wants or limited mind. Haven’t you ever desired anything that is not what you really need? I have. Everyday of my life. Big and small. Sometimes we don’t know what we really need. Sometimes we do know and we are just too broken to want what we need. Before you read further, burn that box you have in your mind. Light the match of hunger against the rough surface of humility and let that fire eat up your fears, your doubts, your hate, your bitterness, your pride, and your flawed reason. Watch them be reduced to useless ashes, remnants of failed counterfeits and broken dreams. Let the embers float and fade. Now, breath in and listen to the truth.
God is love. That is the truth. Any bit of love you see around you originated in Him. So if you really want to experience and receive love then you need to talk to Him. He’ll listen. He is love. People who don’t receive the love of God and “love” others are very limited. They are limited to copying a copy. You lose some quality if you get your love from anywhere other than the source, GOD. The most pure and unconditional love can be found in those that know God. Not because they are any different than you or I, but because they have the real thing right inside of them – not someones else’s interpretation. They carry real original love, and they give it away knowing that their source is limitless. They are empowered by perfect love to share it without reservation, prejudice, fear, or reciprocity. This is real love. One of the most pathetic things in the world to witness is two individuals with no real love begging each other to give what they don’t have and promising to give away something they’ve never experienced.
I encourage you to love yourself. Love yourself enough to make the time to think and feel in the real world. To experience people and reality around you. Even if it isn’t as squeaky clean and fuzzy as cyberworld now, in time you will detox and remember how to live again. Love yourself enough to make something real and lasting of yourself and your life. You think about that description of real love again, and this time ask yourself if you love YOU. Are you patient with you? Do you forgive yourself? Do you want what’s best for you? Do you endure suffering in order to better yourself? Do you believe in you? Do you tell yourself the truth?
Maybe you don’t love yourself, so therefore, you’ve decided that you will love others instead. If so, then you will not be able to do so effectively. Why? Because you cannot give anyone something that you don’t already have yourself. If you want to give me an apple, then you have to have an apple. If you want to make me feel happy, then you have to have some happiness to share. If you want to show someone love – you have to have some real love. It’s a hard pill to swallow. Loving yourself is not easy. Being selfish is easy, loving yourself is different. Love hurts. I’ve been there. Trust me I get it.
Lies I’ve held onto through my pain: If you want something bad enough, then it will happen, eventually. If you fight long and hard enough then you will win, because you tried your best and that’s only fair. If you never give up, something has to give.
No. That’s not the truth. Sometimes we are wrong. Sometimes you are wrong. Sometimes we have to wake up and do something different. That’s called change. Change is powerful. Change is necessary. If you can see error, but ignore it because you refuse to change, then you will become more and more miserable until you do something about the truth that you know. You cannot unknow something (that’s why the word doesn’t exist). It’s called denial. This denial is robbing you of something extremely precious: The Truth. It is freedom. The truth WILL set you free. Love yourself enough to keep seeking the truth. Sometimes it hurts. The pain is worth the freedom and the love. Love the truth. Rejoice in the truth. I’m not the source of truth. I am a messenger, and there are many others. Keep seeking; you will find. When you find, you will grow, and you will tell others.
I promise to tell you the truth that I know.
I mean it,