Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Ick of Status Updates

After my recent social media fast, I promised myself to not brag or type hidden agendas in my statuses on Facebook.  Before, I would get worked up over something someone said in response to my post or annoyed by something someone else typed. So much so, that I would revert to the world-focused, body-image focused, glory-seeking person inside me who I've tried squelching with heaps of Holy Spirit-driven prayer and study for these past 18 years of my life. But, she's never too far away, and seems easily coaxed by social media. Call it spiritual attack, if you will, but I am ashamed to say, I haven't quite mastered swinging my humility sword to ward off the monster inside.

My return to Facebook didn't take me long to break the promise I made to myself (ahem...God...but that makes me sound like SUCH a failure). Actually, I broke it very recently. Thank goodness for a friend pointing it out to me because my status made her question my integrity--and that is something I would never want anyone to question.

When I am spurred by emotion, typing words so quickly and sending them out so effortlessly, I am bound for disaster. My own ego or competitive spirit rises up inside me. It's like being thrown into an out-of-"soul" experience. And it makes me feel pretty icky. Because I know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of a passive aggressive status update, or a  so-and-so's-life-is-so-awesome status update when my own life is pretty dull. Again, it's easy to feel pretty icky. Perhaps I am a weakling. Maybe I am not as spiritually mature as I thought. But when I fall for the trap of using social media this way, or allowing it to get to me, it's like shears hacking away at all my new growth.

I know that many of my friends know what I am talking about. Most of my friends are pretty genuine in real life, and have shared that they have the same struggles as me. And I would hope, that the next time I stumble (note, not if, but when), and use social media to lift myself up or tear someone else down, my friends will speak up and hold me accountable. As far as being on the reading side of an annoying status, I resort to prayer. Praying for the person, praying for my heart, and stopping myself from getting out those shears!

There's a whole new hurdle to refinement, now. Our words used to go through the filter of having that person face to face, or just on the other side of the phone. Now, we can hide behind a screen and say things we would never say if the person was face to face...or if we knew what the person was going through in their daily life. Even if the culture is spinning in a self-absorbed storm, relationship is still the most important thing.

I am not going to let the ick of a status update ruin my relationship with a friend, but especially, ruin my relationship with the One who inspired these words:

"9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water." James 3:9-12


  1. I like your honesty here. I've so struggled with the same thing on updates and yet I know there are times when I am screwing it up myself.

    To demonstrate how terribly weak I am I have taken a friend's suggestion and made it so I don't see a few people's updates when I lot on. I can always check up on them every once in a while if I'm in a strong mood but I am too weak to handle the status updates they typically put up. I need to be at the point where I don't LET it make me feel inferior but I'm not there yet so I run from the temptation to compare.

  2. Thanks for commenting, Julia...and thank YOU for your honesty. I do the exact same really is not because of the person, but because of my own weakness to LET things bring out that ugly monster in me. I like how you put it--if I'm in a strong mood... that is so true. We need to keep our hearts in check and understand what we can and can't handle at any given moment. Same with checking the news, or reading a certain blog...I need to be sure I am prepared for whatever comes my way!