THE CHANGING FACE OF SOCIAL MEDIA – {AND THE CHANGE I HAD TO FACE}

I was done. Over it.  Ready to call it quits.  I immediately picked up my phone to have the conversation with my husband, hoping he’d feel the same way as I did about this 10+ year relationship we shared as “MichaelandPaige Ewing”.

“Hey.  I want to delete our Facebook account.  I’m sick of it.  Are you ok with that?”

Oh….you thought I was talking about our marriage, didn’t you? Sorry to confuse you! No, I’m talking about the joint Facebook page we have shared since 2005.  Yea, go ahead and judge…we shared a Facebook account.  I thought it was a phase back in our college days and figured it wouldn’t last, kind of like AOL Instant Messenger.  Instead of making my own account, I just added pictures to Michael’s after we got married and kind of took it over.  Sorry, babe…welcome to marriage.

Facebook used to be cool.  It used be a place we could stalk our college aged friends and see pictures of their ridiculous and humiliating weekend that for some dumb reason, was shared for all to see online.  That’s ok! I was bored and needed to feel better about myself, anyway:) Then, the unthinkable happened when Mr. Zuckerberg decided it was a grand idea to open up the site to users even if they were not a college student.  Hey Mom! Glad to see you on Facebook! Oh there’s my 12-year-old cousin:/  Wait…is that my GRANDMOTHER? Yep, anybody and everybody could have a Facebook account.  Your boss, your co-workers, your students, even your great aunts and uncles who like to comment on every.single.post.you.ever.shared.  Awkward.

It became a business, a place for marketing and advertising, a newer method for communication, and another source for news.  Over the course of 10 years, I’ve watched Facebook morph into a site that once allowed you to simply share pictures to an all-in-one encompassing tool that is now my Gmail, Shutterfly, Fox News, Recipe Book, Online Ads, Yearbook, Yellow Pages, Youtube, and Entertainment News.  You can DO.IT.ALL with Facebook…and my mind starting believing that I needed Facebook to function or I would be missing out on something important.

My voice could be heard through the microphone of social media.  That empty box beside “Update your Status” was a stage just waiting for me stand upon and speak my mind.  Hmm…what should I post today? I think I’ll be funny and tell a joke about my daughter passing gas in public.  That’ll make everyone laugh! Instead, maybe I should go on a rant about terrible customer service I just experienced because I know everyone wants to hear me complain;) Actually, I think I’ll list in chronological order everything I did today so I feel important that I was so darn busy, because even though my life is completely normal, posting it on Facebook makes it seem special.  Really…people need.to.know.what.I.ate.for.dinner!!!

With every status, with every picture, and with every re-shared e-card….I am telling the world who I am.  I am shaping my identity and personality with every share.  Soon enough, I fell into the belief that I SHARE = I AM.

I SHARE = I AM.

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As if sharing it wasn’t enough, I needed to see who liked it and who commented on it.  I was constantly going to back to my phone to check my notifications.  Oh good…they approve of me and they are in my corner.  I must keep on sharing so my “friends” will stay entertained.  They expect this out of me and I can’t disappoint.  I’m the ‘funny’ mom who posts pictures of her children acting like fools.  I’m the inspirational wife who always has a positive outlook on life and folks need that encouragement.  I’m the fit chick who motivates women to get off their hineys and workout.  While all of these things are true representations of who I am, was it truly necessary to share it with the world?

What if NO ONE ever saw that moment when my children played on the edge of the shore with their beach toys? Does the value and intensity of that memory lessen because I was the only one to witness it?  What if NO ONE knew about that time my husband wrote me a love note and had it mailed to our house from his job? Does his efforts to strengthen our relationship fall by the waste side because I chose not to post it on Instagram to validate how amazing he is?

And WHAT IF … I started living my life for an audience of ONE?  Instead of feeding the desire to be seen by others, what if I fueled the fire to please just ONE.  THE ONE.  The only one who can truly see my heart.  The only one who knows every thought before I even think it.  Because no matter what I try to do in order to keep up the performance, God knows my intentions.  No amount of friends, followers, likes, or comments can satisfy my soul like Christ can.

So, I left.  I left Facebook for 8 months and Instagram for only God knows how long.  What I left behind was:

  • A distraction from my work
  • Ignoring and neglecting my family
  • Competition and the need to ‘one up’
  • Proving myself to others
  • A filler for boredom
  • Unintentional relationships
  • Cheap replacement for validation
  • False sense of identity and worth

I left it because it was time to slay the dragon of the SEEN and put on the full armor of the UNSEEN.

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4

…and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

To be hidden WITH CHRIST in God.  I wholeheartedly believe that in the hiding places, in the quietness of the unseen, away from the noise of the seen…is where we find our true identity and God speaks the loudest to our hearts.  When our FACE is in his BOOK … we don’t need Facebook.  We know who we are.  We know the value of our life.

JESUS CHRIST = THE GREAT I AM

{**Of course, I am not condemning Facebook, nor anyone who uses it.  I share this as my personal story from my own personal experiences.  Facebook is not evil, nor is it bad.  It is a tool that can be used for good, but sometimes GOOD gets in the way of the BEST.  As I sensed God prompting me to start writing again for His glory, I knew I needed to have access to where the people are in order to share my writing.  People are on Facebook, so my hopes are to build connections through my new account with those who can relate to my own junk while pointing them to Christ;) }

7 thoughts on “THE CHANGING FACE OF SOCIAL MEDIA – {AND THE CHANGE I HAD TO FACE}

  1. Young lady, you hit many nerves here. Very well written points that many, including myself , needed to hear. Sharing for sure!!

  2. I’m pretty sure everything you said is EXACTLY how I feel/felt!! I have such a hard time letting it go mainly because of pictures of my kids! I guess I want an easy way to document… But instead of surfing fb at night or in between swing pushes (confession) I could be uploading pics from my camera or set aside a time on the weekends to do it!! That “need” to take pictures and post is awful!!! Ugh. Thanks for being willing to share and to be vulnerable! 😊

    1. I know !!!!! That was my main hang up too with letting that (and Instagram) go. I began sending more personal texts to family and friends with pics of the girls. It made the experience more meaningful and personal.

  3. Paige, I’m not sure you remember me but I am from Glennville too. I am so touched by what you said. It is so true about everything you said. I have too seen mothers pushing their child in a swing with one hand while looking at their phone with the other. Or be at the pool and instead of 100% of their attention being on the safety of that child in the pool they are reading their phone with an occational glance up.
    I admire you for turning your attention on your family and being 100% there and being the wife and mother God wants you to be. God bless you and your family.

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