Many of us have heard part of the Zuckerberg hearing or we’ve seen still photos in the media. Facebook has recorded the lives of many of us not because they were prying, but only because they are good at storing and remembering. Can you blame them?
Ask anyone that camps regularly in the mountainous nature. They will tell you with great seriousness… “never feed bears”. Even more than that, don’t leave food where a bear can find it, smell it, or see it. If you feed a bear, on purpose or inadvertently, they come back. They get a taste. They gain appetite.
I’m all for limiting the “big brother” dynamic that most people find unappealing. I love anonymity as much as the next person, but why do we spend so much time posting and perusing social media sites built on our surrendered information? Why do so many people post regular and intimate details about their lives only to then get upset when it can be recalled later by strangers? Why do we feed the bear, and then get mad at the bear when it comes back for more? I think we have all gone a little bit insane.
Here are three challenges I would like to give you regarding your social media use:
1) I challenge all of us who have a social media account… whether it is Facebook, Snapchat,
Instagram, Twitter, or anything really… catalogue your time. Social media is a great way to
keep in touch with friends, share memories, and crowdsource information. It has great uses.
But it has become a crutch. To many, it is a cancer that keeps us from productivity.I know that Marxism feels that religion is the “opium of the masses,” but, in my opinion, I would have to say I have found the real stuff in social media.
It’s not inherently bad. Enjoy it. Have fun. But limit it. Good things can become bad things. As you catalogue your time, add up the hours for a full day/week. Is that a number you can be proud of? With the world where it is, with the need level where it is, with the lostness of the world where it is… are those social media hours worth it?
2) Just be careful. Other people can turn good into bad just as quickly as we can. If you don’t
want the internet to know that you are on vacation … don’t let the internet know you are on
vacation. Think a few steps ahead. Don’t be naïve.
And don’t be so short-sighted to forget how Facebook makes its money. You don’t pay for it, right? Exactly. So, how is the founder one of the richest in the world? Your information is sold. My information is sold. It’s what they do.
If you refuse to be careful, you must refuse to complain. It’s as simple as that. It’s not the bear’s fault if you left the hamburgers out on the picnic table. The bear either eats or dies.
3) Notice the concept of yourself that you display. ALL OF US, have been ready to post a picture,
only to find a “better” picture of ourselves. We put our best foot forward. We broadcast only a
version of ourselves. A narrow concept. Why?
It’s a self-esteem thing. It’s pride. It is knowing that we all have multiple “sides.” Just like we can be one person in the college dorm room and a completely different on semester breaks back at our childhood home with the parents, we all have become skilled amateurs at personal public relations.
People would be scared if they knew all of us. Maybe. For some of us. But while that is uncertain, let me tell you a full certainty that includes all of us: God already knows all sides, all concepts, all versions of ourselves and still loves us. How? Why? Honestly, it beats me. But it’s the truth.
So… while many of you are trying to impress the world around you via your social accounts… while you are counting likes and tracking comments… while you are comparing yourself to old high school friends… REST in the fact that God see even what you do not share and loves you anyway.