Saturday, February 21, 2015

Is Our Value Measured by How Many 'Likes' We Get?

Thanks to the skyrocketing popularity of social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, gone are the days of needing to lease the newest model car or fill your garage with expensive gadgets in order to impress your friends and neighbors. In fact, in  this day and age, you’re unlikely to receive more than a wave or “hello” from a neighbor, much less an in-person exchange.

     Although there has been a steady decrease in face-to-face interaction since social media entered the picture, online “friend lists” are growing at an exorbitant rate--and they don’t just include your real-life friends. They encompass casual acquaintances, co-workers, neighbors, friends or friends, and even the kid you sat next to back in  the third grade.

     With all this talk of online “friendships,” one has to wonder how genuine these connections are and if they are really adding to the quality of our relationships. Are the hours we spend every week browsing through “status updates” merely encouraging interactions that have no real-life foundation? And do online apps, such as “Check Me Into Places,” only increase our desire to keep up with the now hundreds--or thousands--of “Joneses” on our friend list?  

     Whether our fitness guru friend boasts of his “Checking In” to 24-Hour Fitness for the sixth time this week, or our neighbor has gone on eight shopping sprees at Nordstroms this month, do these facts really enhance our friendships or are they merely a facade for the deeper longing we have to be seen as someone of worth? Is our value as a person measured by how many “friends” we have, how many comments we receive on our posts, or how many “likes” we get on the pictures we upload?

     True, social media has its benefits and gives us the opportunity to witness to mass amounts of people at once, but is it a healthy substitute for the face-to-face connections we were created for? In all our striving to “one up” our friends who brag in their statuses of their brilliant children, luxurious trips, high-paying career, designer clothes, or perfect marriage, we fail to see each other for who we really are and the struggles we’re facing on the other end of the computer screen. When we engage in the online popularity contests that are so often found in the daily musings of social media sites, we miss why we came here in the first place: to connect.

As I {The Joy Filled Wife} ponder a true example of the word “connect,” Mark 5:35-43 instantly comes to mind. Many Bible-readers are familiar with the story of the 12-year-old girl pronounced dead who was brought back to life with the mere touch of Jesus’ hand and the command to “arise”. This story is touching because of the simplicity of the message and the tenderness of Christ. You see, when Jesus heard the news of the little girl, He could have chosen to “say the word” from where He was standing, and His faith would have healed her from afar. He didn’t do that, though. He chose to connect on an intimate and personal level, showing Himself as a Savior who is interested in knowing and interacting with us face to face.

As believers, we need to remember that we were created in the image of God and since He is a God who longs to connect, He has created us to need connection as well. There’s no substitute for a friendly smile, a warm conversation, and two friends “checking in” in person over a cup of coffee or a morning walk. Making true connections with others does require carving a little bit of time out of our busy day, but I think we will be amazed at the harvest we reap when we sow seeds into other people’s lives.

And He {Jesus} took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, 
Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted,
 Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.
Mark 5:41

***This post was written by TheJoyFilledWife and the picture is 
Ken, Emma and me on our way down to the park!