Social Media and the Desire to Be Seen

Oct 2, 2020Personal Transformation

Social media is an interesting tool. We’re all on there. But it’s an interesting place, because every single one of us is on there more than likely because we want to be seen. We want somebody to recognize us.

Every single day people are competing to post or to put things up. Sometimes there are people who will put something completely outrageous up and end up going viral. And I think there’s a lot of people who are like, “I wish I could do something that might go viral.” I’ve been there. It presents a hard question I’ve been asking myself, does social media put us in more of a selfish place?

If you go back 10, 20, 30 years, a lot of people would have been more hidden or more behind the scenes. But social media almost magnifies who we are and what we are and what we’re about. And I was looking at a scripture in Matthew 6 that really kind of brought this up for me in a way that I thought we just need to be really careful with what we’re doing with social media and how we’re using it and how we’re kind of promoting our own lives, tooting our own horn, wanting to be seen.

I’m going to start with verse one and then I’m going to read verses three and four. If you read in between, it’s still very good, but I want to just kind of highlight these two pieces together. It says, “Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness before men to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your father in heaven.” And then verses three and four: “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing so that your giving may be in secret. Then your father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”

If you follow the rest of Matthew six, it’s a lot about not tooting your own horn. About how we walk this delicate balance of appearing before God and appearing before men in a way that is humble. And I think that’s really kind of the secret. How do we carry humility with us every single day? And that’s the hard thing for me. It’s a hard thing for everyone.

But in this age of social media, I think it’s become even more and more difficult, because social media has almost made us addicted to being seen. It is so easy to pick up our phones, take a picture, put a quote in. “Hey, look at what I did,” in hopes that a lot of people will see it. A lot of people will recognize it. And is that something that we’re doing because we’re honoring God with it, or because we simply want to be seen?

So how can we be seen in a way that someone goes, “Man, that’s a really good idea. That’s going to challenge me to transform my own life. That’s going to challenge me to step into things that I need to do differently, that I need to think about differently.” As opposed to, “Wow, look how great Eric was,” or, “Look how great that person was because they did this thing.” Do you see the difference? Feel the balance? Those are the questions we need to be asking.

And so, I must be careful with my own spirit and my own heart. How do we make sure that we’re primarily focused on being seen by God and not seen by man? And as we go through this life with the knowledge, as I say, every single day, we’ve got one lifetime to live. We’ve got one chance to create all the transformation that matters. So many people around us are trying to be seen and trying to be known temporarily, and what they think they’re living is a good life. And what they are missing is a better life because a better life is found when we truly chase after true transformation and seeking a transformation for ourselves and our future.