Over a year ago, I started writing a post in my WordPress drafts about loving myself, and people, without filters. I boxed away the concept and let it sit there for too many months, not even wanting to face the subject. It was too much work (as if writing about topics that truly matter is ever easy). A few months ago, when I was desperate for something to write about, I took a scroll through my main points and decided to rededicate myself to the post about the balance of social media and real life. So, I looked it over, deleted a lot of useless words, and added a lot of better ones. I sent the proposal to several authors, and then finally to The Rising Tide Society as a total fluke. I knew that I had a large following, so I was naturally intimidated but I pressed send anyway. The next day I got an e-mail saying that they wanted to move forward with my proposal. I asked my friend Rachel if she would look over my words, and she graciously took the time to edit the piece, rearrange a few sentences, and delete a lot more unnecessary words. I talked to Davey Jones (one of the founders of RTS) on the phone, and it was sweet to hear a genuine voice and to hear the heart behind the e-mail signature.
I don’t know why I let the heart of the subject lay in my drafts for over a year. It was probably a mix of forgetfulness, but also of fear. The fear – not only of this one little post – but of the call to contribute honestly to conversations that matter. I knew that when it came to filters and healthy social media use, this message needed to spread wider than I could spread it on my own.
I took a baby step in faith, and God brought my dusty draft into the light. This past Tuesday it was published, and I am trusting that the Lord led me to send the proposal and that it has been both a challenge and a comfort to hundreds of people (even if I never know how).
I’ve included an excerpt here. Click on the link at the bottom of the page to visit Rising Tide Society’s website and to read the post in it’s entirety.
(picture not mine)
We live in a world where we put parts of our lives through filters before we allow even our closest friends to see them. We live in a world where we can just delete people without having to look them in the eye as we wave goodbye.
You might be wondering why we’re carving out the time to talk another minute about the internet on the internet. Here’s why: it can be a powerful, community-building tool, but only if we know how to use it in a way that is honest and balanced.
INSTAGRAM IS MEANT TO BE A BONUS, NOT YOUR HOME BASE.
The only reason that Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter are problematic is because people have started to put the base of their relationships and their worth in them. It sounds silly because it is. Your online interaction is meant to be an overflow of your life, it’s not supposed to be your life.1
We have put our identity in something that is quick and has minimum requirements for community commitment.
We cling to words from strangers that aren’t even sitting in our corner.
These things are fun, and they can be authentic spaces for confessions and encouragement. But if you see yourself through the lens of any one media source, it can wreak unnecessary havoc on your heart.
Instagram is something, but it is not everything.
WHEN REAL LIFE FRIENDS DON’T FILTER YOU, BOX YOU UP, AND CALL YOU BOO.
Instagram isn’t worth our tears anymore.
Social media has killed off some of my most anticipated relationships.
It’s like I allowed myself to think that if they didn’t show me off online, the realness of our relationship didn’t exist or didn’t matter. Or that if someone doesn’t make me their #wcw or mention me in the night of our dreams that what we had wasn’t real. These lies are not true, so from the other side of them — don’t give them space to grow. Just because someone doesn’t post about an event — that doesn’t mean it wasn’t meaningful. That doesn’t mean that they didn’t walk away grateful for you. It just isn’t a little square in their profile.
The world doesn’t need more competition.
Our culture needs more people making memories with one another before they try capturing them. It needs friends that are willing to be honest with each other.
The best friendships happen when you take the pressure off of them. When you don’t feel the need to prove the relationship online of all places.1 When you do, it’s a celebration of the love they are already sure of, because you show them through your actions and in so much more than your tags. . . . .