In this world of technology, every day becomes a battle of resisting comparison. Whether it is access to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat, the ability to see other people’s lives in a photograph or with a post can be a daily struggle of discontent. The photograph or post may appear to reflect a positive, healthy relationship, or successful career and life, but looks or posts can be deceiving. No one wants other friends and family to believe there is trouble in paradise. Appearances must show “everything is awesome”, just like a kid’s movie, Lego Land portrayed. The sad part about this representation is it is a lie, it brings a person more sadness. You can’t hide forever. The fallacy of “Let’s keep up appearances” is physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually exhausting. It ultimately causes more envy, more loneliness and more depression. If we aren’t able to be transparent and real with at least a few trustworthy friends we will become increasingly isolated. The Lord calls us to community, all humans need connection and to feel heard and understood. To feel invisible and isolated is not the answer.
What was deemed a community access point, ie.. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat has instead lead to more isolation. The number of Followers may seem to say a person is popular and well connected often times it may mean the exact opposite; multiple acquaintances but less meaningful relationships.
I find the less I reach out to the social media sites the more content I am. I was listening to a podcast from John Eldridge today, “The World Part 1”. Mr. Eldridge and his fellow radio commentators were talking about the increase in depression, loneliness and its cause of discontent being The Comparison Trap.
We used to value our differences in likes and dislikes. We used to stand for our opinions, however, it is becoming more common that all opinions are considered above the Creators. Our need to feel the affirmation of others has overtaken our self-esteem. Even if I was to post a blog on this topic, I may anxiously await a Follower’s opinion as a like or dislike, or may anticipate a comment of affirmation after publishing my next blog.
What has become with a society that seeks constant reassurance instead of being content that the Lord creates each of us uniquely with a specific purpose? We seek human affirmation over His. We must seek meaningful trusting relationships with a few chosen friends who encourage and support one another (Isn’t that what Jesus did with his disciples?), friends who listen attentively, who give advice when asked, who are willing to be transparent in good and not so good days. Friends with whom we can share our insecurities, joys and failures are priceless. I am blessed to have some of those friends, I am forever grateful for their input, their listening ear, their discipline in words or actions with love. I hope I am seen in the same light. May that Light be the light that reflects from me, as I read of Jesus.