I am, in some ways, blissfully behind the times.
Twitter is a foreign land I have yet to discover. The whole concept of #(insert every possible thought here) alludes me. And I don't have a thing to say about Instagram.
I do, on the other hand, understand that MySpace is the place where predators stalk their prey and trashy girls go for hookups. I also am aware that Craigslist can contain killers, so beware.
But my internet, social media, friend-following knowledge is quite limited in scope. It starts at email and ends at Facebook with no pit stops in between. I am an avid Pinterest follower but I don't follow anyone I actually know and no one that I know is even aware that I have a Pinterest. It is for my own personal enjoyment, not for people in my past to see what kind of home decor I like or what recipes I'm adding to my "must try" list. I just don't see the point in needing to share every detail of my life with the people who used to be a big part of it. They aren't now, so why do some feel the need to keep sharing?
I've determined that it is a case of showing off. I don't mean to sound judgmental. I'm actually not judging at all - I'm simply calling it as I see it.
How often do you see people posting their boring night at home? The night where they sat around and watched 5 reruns of Boy Meets World while eating a bowl of Raisin Bran and hitting the sheets by 9:30 - where are the pictures to capture the thrill of that evening? Yet, log onto Facebook at any given moment and you'll see countless posts about exciting beach vacations, date nights out on the town, countdowns to big events, or "shout-outs" filled with inside jokes.
People post the good stuff.
This phenomenon has given a microphone to a trait most of us can claim, whether or not we have a Facebook account. Most of us want to stay quiet about the bad, negative, not so glamorous aspects of our lives. But we are more than happy to shout from a mountaintop all that is good and right in life. When things are going our way - when we get a job promotion, hit the perfect jean size, become an aunt or an uncle, start dating Mr. Dreamy, get a new car, realize the perfect level of tan without that embarrassing hint of lobster red burn - when our lives are filled with what we categorize as desirable we start bursting at the seems to make sure everybody knows it.
But when life isn't so hunky-dory our news feed grows cold. The play-by-play updates go silent. Why would we want to share about the gory details of our breakup? Who really wants to tell the social media world that they just got fired for bad behavior and poor performance? Is it enjoyable to detail the symptoms of your latest illness? Failure, defeat, disappointment...they just aren't fun to share, plain and simple.
What good does all this posting do us anyways? Is it healthy and beneficial to give the world constant updates on our life happenings, achievements and exciting plans? Who does this truly benefit?
The one with the hot date on Friday night.
The one who is posing as if they were on a cover of a fitness magazine.
The one with a group of friends out on the town in NYC.
The one on a plane to an exotic location.
The one with a pay raise.
The one with a new Lexus in the driveway.
....But not the ONE who bestows the blessing.
Facebook, social media, Twitter, Instagram....you name it....has given a microphone to every man, woman and child's self-obsessed tendency. We all have that side to us but we don't have to indulge it. But with the rise of every man being a his own celebrity the voices of obsession have only grown in volume.
There are countless dangers to embracing the "look at me" culture of social media. There is the danger of overexposing yourself, having your account and personal information hacked or, even worse, having a predator stalk you.
But there is a danger that every poster faces whether they know it or not: letting their good fortune become their life's focus.
Blessings are just that, blessings. We would be silly not to enjoy them. But is that where our focus should be?
God does bless his children, this is undeniable. He gives good gifts. But he also allows heartache and suffering. Just look at Job. He was lavishly blessed with children, land, and possessions. And then it all went away. God allowed everything he had in this world, including his health, to be stripped from him.
If Job was only focused on the blessings that he had accumulated in this world then he would have been up a creek without a paddle - I'm sure that would have been taken from him, too. He didn't have blessings to rely on or revel in. All he had was the hope that God was still the God of the universe, all knowing and all seeing.
If and when our blessings seem to disappear will we take the road of Job?
Don't let the Facebook culture distract your attention away from what is truly important. Blessings are great but they are not meant to be where we cast our glance. Our eyes are to be set on God, constantly seeking more of his face. Our hearts are to soak in HIS goodness, not simply the goodness of a blessing he bestows. When we are constantly seeking more of him we find that our obsession to point out more of our own blessings diminishes, it becomes less important.
A heart truly after God's own heart won't be after the things of this world and won't be searching for the next blessing. It will be wholly devoted to doing God's will, obeying his Word and getting to know him more. That is God's desire for us....that our focus not be on our own good fortune, but on his ultimate greatness.