In the world of instagram, facebook, and twitter, we want to be best, right? What we post has to get the most likes and comments, go along with your “aesthetic,” and tell the world about us. What do we want others to see? That we are the most beautiful? The most talented? Have the most friends? Achieve to the highest merit? Or maybe we use social media to escape from something that isn’t quite right in our real lives so just maybe our lives can look a little better online.
I fall into the trap of social media every day. With my interest in writing, photography, fashion, it’s really easy for me to come off as something I’m simply not. I don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on designer clothes and the best getaways. The more I analyzed what I was recently posting, the less I saw of Brynne. I saw someone trying to be like the fashion and lifestyle instagrammers that inspire thousands of people everyday. They’re very cool and creative, but that’s not who I am. I’m guilty as charged, people.
As I reflected on what I was posting, I got to some thinking. I can’t be the only one who feels this way. Does anyone else feel the pressure to put their best foot out there? But is that also getting to a point where we lose our authentic selves? As much as I find social media to be a fun and creative platform to share, create, and appreciate the stories and creation of others, it can also foster a ton of negativity. It easily becomes a mobile way to constantly compare ourselves to others. Why don’t I look like him/her? Why don’t I have friends like that? Why don’t I have more followers like her? Why am I not making the team like him? It gets to a point where we scroll and scroll and never reach fulfillment in who we are. Instead, we spend hours looking at the lives of others and watch our life vaporize before our eyes.
So why am I saying this? I’m saying this because I constantly fall into the trap of comparison. I see what other people are posting and then for some reason I tell myself I’m inadequate. I’m also saying this for those of you who have felt the same way to show you that you’re not alone. Here’s the big question: how can we teach ourselves to be authentic online?
I don’t know all the answers, but something I’ve discovered is God has already given us all we need to feel adequate. 2 Corinthians 10:12 says “not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.” What is it that we don’t understand? We don’t understand that God intended on making us exactly the way we are. We don’t understand that everyone on this earth is so unique and that’s the entire point of creation. We are all different puzzle pieces of this gigantic, beautiful, and intricate picture.
Romans 12:4-5 says “for just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” We need to be different, otherwise this world would be an incredibly boring place. In order to be our most authentic selves, we can’t be afraid to be ourselves just because it won’t get the most likes, comments, or shares. What others appreciate and what the Lord appreciates is stepping out in authenticity because the Lord made us to be who we are. If that’s not the most aesthetically pleasing or the coolest, who cares? The materials of this world are constantly deteriorating and all that’s left is who we are in the eyes of God.
Trust me, I still struggle with this and anyone who uses social media always will. My goal from now on is to really focus on what I love to do and who God made me to be, but never throw away who I am to fit a certain mold. Be bold in who you are, that’s who you are meant to be. Xo, Brynne