Don't Let Social Media Determine Your Self-Worth

Don't Let Social Media Determine Your Self-Worth

Be present in your own life and see where it takes you.
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Facebook. Instagram. Snapchat. Twitter. Think back to the last time you went on any of these social media sites, or any other ones for that matter. The point of these sites is to stay in touch with friends and family, and stay connected with the happenings in their lives. However, these sites have now become a means for individuals to showcase how "fun" and "perfect" their lives are.

We upload the very best pictures and most exciting events in our lives, and then broadcast them to our "friends." Then, countless hours are spent scrolling through social media sites to analyze the details of everyone else's lives. This is a mindless activity that subconsciously generates a feeling of inferiority when comparing your life to that of people in your community. However, no one posts about the negative aspects of their lives. Instead, what social media illustrates is a selective portion of an individual's life—an airbrushed, polished version. Even though we know this is what occurs, we still compare our own unedited lives to the carefully created profiles of our peers. This is an unfair evaluation that perpetuates a sense inferiority, loneliness, and jealousy within ourselves.

Additionally, the senses of inferiority and superiority are reinforced by the notion of "likes." The larger the amount of likes you have, the more successful and popular your post was. Conversely, a low number of likes indicates your post was not supported by your peers, which has the potential to elicit emotions of inferiority. Many times, I have seen friends delete posts due to the fact they did not achieve as many likes as they intended to get. Evidently, social media is being used as a reinforcer of popularity rather than a clear illustration of one's life.

In this quest to obtain the best pictures and coolest stories, we are forgetting to live in the moment and have real experiences. Recently, I visited the city of Tulum, in Mexico, and went to a site of Mayan ruins. Standing in place with so much ancient history, I was blown away. I then realized that the majority of people on my tour were consistently snapping pictures of the ruins or taking selfies with the buildings in the back. I overheard a girl next to me say to her friend, "I can't wait to Instagram this!" Rather than embracing the history and culture of the surroundings, people were instead focused on documenting it for future reference or social media posts. I'm not saying that we should refrain from taking photos or using social media, but we should be careful to live and experience situations first, and then document them.

The constant comparison to others on social media with the intent of making your life "just as amazing" as that of those around you is unhealthy and unnecessary. It stops you from having quality time and novel experiences, and creates unnecessary stress. Rather than picking that perfect filter or taking 50 selfies to find the best one, enjoy what is happening around you.

It's ironic. We craft these perfect posts and images to show our peers the fun and joy in our lives, but doing so causes us to miss out on the experiences that would elicit these emotions. Take pictures as mementos, as reason to reminisce on great experiences with friends and family. Pictures speak a thousand words, and are the perfect reminders of the events in our lives. But keep them as just that, mementos, rather than a means of competition and popularity. Recognize that social media posts are not accurate representations of others' lives, and learn to be content and happy with the life you live.

Everyone has good days and bad days, and in the end, we are all human. Do not give false representations the power to diminish your self-esteem and self-worth. Be present in your own life and see where it takes you. You might just find more than you expect.

Cover Image Credit: sexyfoodtherapy.com

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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American Or Christian?

Can you really be both?

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This is a thought that has lingered in my mind for a very long time.

Personally, I hate news and politics. It's depressing and it seems like both parties (and people in general) just don't get it. Political conversation gets on my ever-loving nerves and literally gets me down in the dumps for the day.

I just simply don't watch it anymore. There is too much negativity.

That doesn't mean that I am uniformed. I am not advocating for ignorance or anything like that. I prefer to read and figure out my information from sites "in the middle."

As I was eating dinner with my wife the other day we started talking about the new Abortion laws in Alabama and Georgia. As a Christ-follower and a staunch defender of Biblical inerrant, I detest abortion.

Before you read any farther, you must understand something: This article is not about my defense of my beliefs regarding hot topics like abortion or homosexuality. I do not have the time to write about said topics now. I am just asking you to accept what I believe for the sake of the article.

But, anyway, these abortion bills. I can make a pretty good case that they are Constitutional because they are protecting the Life (one of the Rights given to American Citizens) from others. Yes, I know the arguments against said point but continue with me please.

This led our conversation to talk about Homosexual marriage, something that I am against as well. And not just because of Leviticus but because of the New Testament as well.

But, shaking my head, I said something that my wife seemed to agree with:

"As a Christian, I know it's wrong and I cannot agree with it. As an American, I see no reason why it should be illegal. Unless your choices infringe someone's Rights, you should be free to do what you wish (technically speaking)."

This is my dilemma. Well, actually it's not a dilemma. I know that I am a Christian before I am an American. I love this country greatly, and I know how blessed I am to be born here. For all the hate this country gets (and some of it is deserved) and all the problems we have (and we have a lot), we are shoulders above other countries in many ways. I am so thankful for all the men and women who have served to protect me and keep me safe. I'm thankful for a lot of things. And I am proud to be an American.

But my identity in Christ comes first. This is why I do not get into politics much. I don't really care at the end of the day. Because while America has been blessed, we still have work to do here. And this is not my forever home. This is not where I will spend eternity.

I try and respect everyone's opinions, and I earnestly try to love everyone, even when they trash and disrespect my beliefs and convictions. But I must put my call to Christ about anything that has to do with this nation. I will pray for ALL our leaders because I was told to do so (I prayed for President Obama when he was in office). And I will be here to support this nation. But I cannot put it above Christ's commands.

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