Thoughts on Social Media
Its been a minute since I’ve been on the blog. And thats because blogging is hard guys. Not gonna lie over here. It’s much harder than I ever realized it would be when I started out. And, sometimes I get a little overwhelmed with it. But, tonight, I was getting some work done on instagram (yes that is a very REAL thing) and I remembered why I chose to take this journey.
While I was scrolling through pictures I found myself comparing yet again. Looking at all of these girls that are traveling the world, moving across the country to chase their dreams, engaged to the love of their lives, buying houses, having babies, and supposedly living better lives than I am. I found myself wondering why my life wasn’t like theirs. Wondering why I am a full time nanny fighting the 9th sickness I’ve had in one year. Thanks childcare. Why I can’t seem to afford to pick my life up and travel the world. Moral of the story is, social media is one of my favorite things, but it can also be a huge trap. It can trap us into thinking that we aren’t enough, that we aren’t where we should be or where we could be, that we should be living better lives, that we are the minority when it comes to real life struggles, and that we are oh so alone in the fact that day to day life is really hard.
But here is the deal with every single person on social media. They are on the struggle bus as well. They are also experiencing sleepless nights, anxiety, depression, a lack of motivation, they are stressed to the max, they wake up with terrible breakouts, they get bloated, they have days where their favorite pair of jeans just doesn’t fit, they run out of the door with no makeup, and oftentimes, they feel completely alone and purposeless, wondering why any of this matters. But they don’t post that on social media. I don’t post that part of my life on social media. And honestly I don’t think thats a bad thing. Social media is not supposed to be a place where we vent all of the junk that happens on a day to day basis, its supposed to be a place where we can watch each other grow, we can inspire each other, and push each other on to better things. But, as much as it’s not supposed to be a place filled with the negative grumblings of our day to day, its not supposed to be filled with comparison and competition either.
The truth is that pictures are just moments, they capture the perfect second when every detail turned out right, and often they are very planned out. A lot of my pictures are planned out in advance, and often taken long before they are posted because there is a huge component of instagram that is art and creativity. I don’t look like I do in my pictures every single day. They are just a creative vehicle for the messages I am passionate about and love to share. And that is the truth for a lot of influencers. They are posting content that they are passionate about and that they hope others will resonate with and be inspired by. Content on instagram should never be something that makes us strive to be something that we are not. It can motivate us to try new things, step outside of our comfort zone, meet new friends, try new outfits, dig deeper into our faiths, or even show us entirely new opportunities that could change our lives forever. But it should never be a place that makes you doubt who you are and who Christ made you to be. It should absolutely never make you doubt the plan that God has specifically designed for your life.
You would think that knowing all of these things about the world of social media would make it 1000 times easier not to compare but it doesn’t. As humans we are naturally perfectionists, we lean toward discontentment, and we (especially me if you know me really well) are competitive by nature.
So then how do we put social media in its place? We have to choose. We actually have a choice in this. I know its hard, trust me. But in this life we get to choose what defines us, what we place our identity in, and what we measure ourselves up against, and may it never ever be social media. This is not the kind of thing that we can choose one time and then all of the sudden we are able to scroll through instagram with the confidence of a lion. It’s a pretty constant choice, it’s a habit to build, you have to recognize when you are looking at something and thinking “if only” and then you have to turn that thought process around and say “thank you Jesus for placing me exactly where I am. For making me completely unique and setting out a plan that is only for me” We have to choose to place our identity in Jesus and then continuously remind ourselves of the choice we have made. It most definitely does not come easy, but that confidence in Christ is priceless.
So, I challenge you as you scroll through instagram today, to remind yourself of who you are in Christ, to look at pictures and stop the thought that says “I wish my life was more like that” and think “I am so grateful that my life is just like this”. Because I guarantee you, the person you are comparing yourself to is comparing themselves to somebody else, and is struggling with things we won’t ever see. It’s up to you to stop the cycle and choose to see the beauty of who you are who you are made to be.
Love, love, love,
Sarah Paige xoxo