Thursday, June 19, 2014

How You Use Social Media

I love Facebook. I have friends from high school that I rarely see, friends from college that have moved all over the States- and even the world,- and friends that are missionaries around the globe. It's great to be able to see what they are doing, watch their children grow, and keep up with their lives.

I also hate Facebook. There are two extremes on Facebook normally. There are the people that whine all. the. time. about whatever is going on in their lives. It seriously must be bad. And then there are the people who look like they are living the best days of everybody's lives every single day. 

photo courtesy of tungphoto/

Now the first group of people don't bother me too badly. I just ignore them (or hide them from my news feed.) But the second group of people? They can get under my skin sometimes. This jealousy problem is rarely when I'm in an intense trial; for instance, when Micah was in the hospital I could have cared less what anyone else was doing. But when my morning has consisted of a fussy baby, cleaning toilets, disciplining a preschooler, and a husband calling to say he's working late, that picture of someone on a cruise or sitting at Starbucks can make me really depressed. I just want to say, "Wouldn't it be nice?"

What does the Bible say about comparison? That's always the real question. 2 Corinthians 10:12 says, "For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." That's pretty plain. It's not wise to compare myself to somebody else. 

That picture is a glimpse of one moment of their day. I don't know the whole story. I don't know what trials they are facing. I don't know the difficulties they wake up to every day. I just don't know anything beyond that one blissful looking moment in that picture.

It's even more startling to realize that one the morning I described above I could take several pictures of our life that look just as wonderful. It's all in the perspective you have.  When you are faced with jealousy creeping up on you, think about the pictures you could take. The freshly-baked bread, the kids snuggling together watching a movie (even if they did just try to push each other off the couch), the newly-mopped kitchen floor, the piles of folded laundry, the Dr. Pepper you bought while you were grocery shopping, the date night you had last week, even the medicine bottles and the baby that just fell asleep after crying all morning. Your life is just as amazing as theirs. And really more so because it's yours. Because God gave it to you to live for Him.

Those wonderful stories and pictures can also make me think, "Why can't I do that?" There are plenty of reasons. Maybe their children are all in school all day.  Or they only have one and he naps for three hours every afternoon. Maybe they don't have children or their children are grown. Maybe their husband's schedule is really flexible. There are a million reasons why it works for them and not for me. Facebook is not there for me to compare my life to theirs. I need to just do my work

Use Facebook (or other social media) as a way to grow. There are plenty of people to friend and pages to follow that can teach you useful things about life. Use social media to keep up with your friend's lives. Rejoice in their triumphs and pray through their tragedies.

But don't use social media as a way to compare how wonderful their life is with how miserable yours is. You can't know that.


  1. It's so easy to get stuck in the comparison rut. I have to pull myself out of it quite often . . . especially when I see people doing things I can't do and like you said, I need to remember to be thankful for the wonderful life I'm in rather than feel envious. Thanks for the reminder. :)

    1. You're welcome! And isn't life funny? Because you are definitely one of those people who seem to have an exciting life! Praying for you!