All the world’s a stage and all the men and women are merely players
The online world has become a stage—for me and many others. Most days I experience life with one eye on social media That’s a cute blog idea; that’s a great Facebook post; this is a great Twitter picture. I’ve even caught myself doing it as I read the Word – ooh, I should put that verse on Facebook. There’s certainly nothing wrong with posting scripture on Twitter, Facebook or anywhere you would like, but for me this is about my mindset — it’s wrong. Instead of looking for what God wants to show me, I’m busy gleaning life for snappy updates and blog worthy moments.
I subject my family and friends to being players on my stage. Fortunately, my girls were teenage and young adult when I started on this journey or I would have posted every cute comment, embarrassing moment and milestone for all the world to see. I would have cast them as players in my very own production of ‘My Life – Online.’ Sure, we’d have a wonderful catalog of blog posts to look back on, but at what cost.
Certainly, my blog, facebook, and twitter are tools for communicating, but they are not extensions of my existence. Everything I do isn’t fodder for public consumption and I’m sure the public appreciates me for that. So why do I catch looking for what I can share with the masses?
Some days it seems that I’m a director looking for the perfect image to capture the moment. I’m the editor looking for that snappy headline to drive home the point or the writer trying to find the best words to evoke the emotion. I need to be more in the moment and not above the moment. I need to be more invested in the experiences of this life, present in the emotions, available to the people in my life and not a player on a stage (no matter what Shakespeare said.)
Why do I want to share my life online? Do I have some great wisdom or knowledge to share? Do I want to just live my life out loud and very public? Or do I want to be loved by the masses?
If my life is truly about glorifying God and my passion is Christ, why do I court the favor of my man or more specifically, my online friends?
What about you? How do you manage to keep the online part of your life in the proper perspective? I would love to hear your suggestions and ideas.
This is hard, Mary. I try very hard to write for an audience of One. I try to only write about what the Lord tells me to write. Like today’s post on some encouragement that a little girl gave me, totally unbeknownst to her. I think the Lord will use it to encourage others who do children’s ministry. (Ummm, don’t hear me saying that I am doing children’s ministry. Heavens, no!) Anything else is for personal enjoyment only. Am I always successful? Nope. Is God always forgiving? Yep!
Well said Leah — writing for an audience of One is my heartbeat and I too am so thankful that God is forgiving.
Precisely why I’ve pulled back… first from my blog, then from FB and twitter. It all feels so inauthentic sometimes (heck, most of the time). I think its because I judge others against my own struggle with authenticity. I’ve found with a private blog, I post a WHOLE lot less. When I do post, it’s for me and God– He’s working it out in me.
Not saying, of course, that you should have a private blog. Because that would flat out stink for the rest of us that like to read your blog! 🙂
Wow…this is a very deep and insightful post. I found you through the She Speaks FB page! 🙂 You really touch on some major themes, and have given me much to think about! And the irony is, when we talk about “building a platform” and widening our reach “for the sake of ministry/the Gospel/the Kingdom”, then the social media turns into exactly what you are talking about here…making our lives a stage. Isn’t that what a “platform” is? A stage. You have asked some great questions! It’s a slippery slope, and I believe it really it comes down to the condition of the heart, and the motives.
Personally, I enjoy social media and blogging. God has used it mightily in my life. I would’ve never known about She Speaks otherwise…I discovered it last year by reading someone else’s blog. That opened up my world because I had never heard of Prov. 31 ministry, I never knew there was an organization dedicated to equipping women who felt called to do exactly what has been in my heart…write and speak for Him. Through blogging, Twitter and Facebook, I have connected with folks that I otherwise would’ve never met. Many of my online interactions have led to “real” relationships, as in flesh and bone, face to face friendships. I don’t know that online relationships are any less “real”, because I feel I have “real” relationships with some of the folks I’ve met online. So for me, it has been a tremendous blessing.
I think it is “wrong” only when the heart is “wrong.” And that goes with just about anything. Even eating. We have to eat, and we need food to survive. But food becomes “wrong” when it becomes an idol or something used in the place of God. Same thing goes for anything “good”…music, relationships, sex, money. Those things in and of themselves are neutral…it’s what we attach to it and the condition of our heart that makes it “right” or “wrong”. For example, using it to satisfy a need for validation. Even God can be served with mixed motives.
So for me, I love social media, and I think it is here to stay at least for awhile, until the Next Big Thing. Rather than ignore it, rail against it, or turn our backs on it (not saying you’re doing those things, by the way) I think we would do well to learn how to properly manage it, keep it in its rightful place in our lives, and know that it’s not all of “who” we are, but a tool to be used in building God’s purpose in our lives. Sometimes we learn as we go along, through trial and error. But if we stay close to the heart of God, He can surely help us to not only keep it in proper perspective, but maximize its benefits in a way that glorifies Him.
Mary- how can you say so many good things in only a few paragraphs? Good thoughts from the commenters, too! perspective. balance. . . He can definitely use it, if we’re allowing Him to lead! and you do, Mary- you do.