The Highlight Reel
One of the most misinterpreted tools of our generation is what I have dubbed – the highlight reel. At its core, social media is simply a compilation of our highlights. A great misconception is that we are who our highlight reel says we are. Instead, social media is simply a visual projection of who we would like others to perceive that we are – not who we are actually are. We all have an innate desire to be validated, affirmed, liked, appreciated and on a deeper level understood by those around us. Yet, I’ve found that our posts can become a façade. We can become so consumed with our image that God is replaced as the epicenter of our lives.
I’ve realized vulnerability attracts more than any selfie ever will. Why? Because people are so desperate for someone to understand them. Human emotion is a connection. We require a connection more than we require validation. In fact, this is the reason that David is one of the most beloved writers of the Bible. David was real. David wrote about his emotions, his failures, his trials, his successes, his hurts, all while journeying through this thing we call life. When you feel like you don’t measure up, you are showing God that you think what He created isn’t good enough. The tenth commandment focuses on covetousness. This is one of those sins people typically associate with children, or with adults who have adultery issues, but I believe that it is more relevant in our lifelong battle with comparison. Social media has only intensified this innate
human struggle that we’ve dealt with since creation. In the garden, Eve was obsessed with having what she was never meant to have.
There may be something that you desire in someone else’s life, so much so that you fantasize about it, you dream about it, you may even obsess over it, but it may have never been meant for you to have. You might wish that you had someone else’s home life or calling, career or lifestyle but
you will never know what goes on behind closed doors. What you desire, and covet and obsess over could kill you spiritually.
You also don’t know the price they paid to get to that point. There is a price to be paid for anything worth having in life. If you are envious of a calling someone else has on their life, know that they have fought private battles to get there. Covetousness will kill your soul. It will rob you of what God has destined for your life. Social Media can stir up unnecessary envy and jealousy within our hearts. Do not deplete yourself of joy wishing you were someone else. The truth is this: you have a purpose someone else will never be able to fulfill. Your worth is not based on contrived, perfected images, but rather the image of a perfect God. Your worth is based on what happens behind the scenes and most importantly beyond the screen. In the New Testament Jesus talks to the Pharisees about a concept that I think is incredibly relevant for today’s generation.
Matthew 23 – First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean…You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.
The message version says it like this – “Scour the insides, and then the gleaming surface will mean something”. If we focus our time, energy, and efforts on who we are inside, the exterior will take care of itself. You will notice that those who are most respected are those who take care of the inside. They take care of their attitude, their pride, their reputation, their integrity, and the image they so desire to uphold follows. Scour the inside, and the surface will gleam like it was meant to.
Nicole Soto works as a marketer for the Sponsorship Division of a nonprofit company in Detroit, Michigan. Beyond her day job she is a passionate writer and published author, releasing her first book, Worth It in 2017. Nicole and her husband Blake serve as youth pastors and music directors at their local church. In her free time, you can find her cooking for friends and family, discovering ways to reinvent classic recipes and documenting her travels abroad.