Most of us know that sentimental saying: “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
But is that really true when it comes to social media, like Facebook?
Slow down, and really think about it. The reality for most of us young women in the 21st century is this: we rapidly plaster our social media newsfeeds with images of pixelated perfection: cropped, edited, enhanced, carefully selected snapshots of our lives.
Scroll through any Facebook newsfeed on a given day, and your eyes behold mostly the glamorous and idyllic moments of women’s lives:
-that romantic proposal with a stunning engagement ring.
-that gorgeous wedding that will soon land in the pages of The Knot Magazine.
-that Pinterest-perfect party for the baby’s first birthday.
–that serenely sweet family portrait on the glistening sands of a beach.
And my list could go on and on! My point is that you and I selectively share our stories on social media. And this selective sharing can have serious implications for the depth of our friendships.
In fact, this selective sharing of pixelated perfection eliminates the entirety of our daily story: the good, the bad, and the ugly. As a result, it seems we as women are more lonely than past generations. Even though we’re more technologically connected, we find ourselves more isolated than ever from knowing each other’s full stories: the trials and the triumphs of everyday life. There is always “a story behind the story” we present on social media.
I’ll be the first one to confess that my Facebook photos don’t usually tell my full story. There’s been hurt hidden beneath the surface of some seemingly idyllic images.
I felt challenged to share an example below of what Facebook doesn’t tell you in hopes I’ll convey more of the Gospel-centered, grace-driven story of walking daily with my Savior, Jesus Christ.
November 2016 Facebook Post: “Hard to believe Miles is already 10 months old!”
In fact, what Facebook doesn’t tell you is that…
I am practically yelling at my toddler not to tackle his little brother, who is about to wiggle off the chair.
I still haven’t showered or finished my first cup of coffee yet even though it’s already 9:00 am.
I am feeling grumpy because I know I snacked on one-too-many gummy bears and cookies before bedtime last night.
I am praying for Jesus to grant me His grace to stay “sane and serene” for a full day with my busy boys.
In short, what Facebook doesn’t tell you is that I am radically in need of walking with Jesus throughout each moment of every day. Breath a sight of relief with me! May you and I remember that following Jesus as a woman in the 21st century doesn’t require postings of pixelated perfection on social media newsfeeds. To the contrary, following Jesus requires radical realism to Him and others about my need for His grace in every day, every hour, and every minute!
Indeed, following Jesus means we don’t allow social media to be a substitute for authentic, transparent friendships. We need a tribe of godly women, who know our full stories. We need a tribe of kindred spirits, who powerfully pray over our stories. And above all, we need a tribe of women whose hearts point us to the grandeur of knowing Jesus and being vessels of His grace in a broken world.
So let’s challenge ourselves to stop hiding behind the mask of pixelated perfection we’ve created in social media. Let’s entrust our full stories to a tribe of women, who will help us remain committed to radical realism in Jesus. Let’s help each other remember there’s a grander, grace-driven, Gospel story that keeps us anchored in the Father’s love.
Scripture to Savor: Ephesians 4:25 : “Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.”
Reflect and Respond: How will you allow the radical realism of abiding in the grace of Jesus to impact your friendships and your postings on social media?