i attempt to use social media in an encouraging way to love on people. i try not to post things to create an image that my life is perfect and wonderful. which as of late is pretty easy to do... i think i use it responsibly and it a way that sort of glorifies God and loves on other people. just like Jesus would use facebook. ha. i can't wait till He has a chat with me about that line when i get to heaven.
i LIKE facebook. and twitter. and instagram. it fulfills that "know and be known" gene given to me by God. in my case it is more a desire to "stalk and be stalked". i like to think that someone might be stalking me (in the way i stalk people. which isn't creepy. right?) i LOVE wishing people happy birthday. i like posting corrie ten boom quotes. or "complaining about early morning cross country meets". i like posting photos of cross country runners. or engaged couples. or my dog. or trees. i am especially good at tree photos.
what i don't like is that for a myriad of reasons (none having to do with anything good in me. we are done with the part of the blog post where i appear to be sanctified. note that the "so much like Jesus part was fairly short. the rest of the entry is much longer.) lately i have been unable to "rejoice with those who rejoice" on social media. i have entered a "seethe with jealous rage with those who rejoice" stage.
this is a toxic mix of my own "need for approval and applause of man". stirred in with a dose of "poor pitiful me" attitude. (i do so love to be a martyr. though i would rather other people THOUGHT me one that me actually do the martyr suffering part.) then there is the last ingredient of a heaping helping of ye olde "comparison trap" that i like to get in there. where everyone's life looks better/easier/prettier/more exciting/more worthy than mine. i drink it down at "bitter, table for one."
i have some great and awesome friends. who do some great and awesome things. and i LOVE LOVE LOVE them and wouldn't trade them (or their super cool lives) for anything. they bless me with some pretty cool things as well since they truly have some of the coolest opportunities in the world (like remember when i went on a cruise for a week and hung out with frank perretti. yeah, i have friends who MADE THAT HAPPEN FOR ME.) well, imagine if EVERY day you had friends who hung out with super cool people and instagramed and tweeted and facebooked it up (like i instagrammed, tweeted, and facebooked it up when i had my week of fame and fortune. you all hated me then. right?!?!?) yeah, i know a lot of people with those exciting lives. not just for a week in the summer. for almost every week in the year.
i also have friends with really extraverted children and extraverted husbands who love to praise them publicly on social media. "DATE NIGHT WITH MY HOTTIE WIFE _____________ (insert tagged name here)!!!!!!" in direct contrast my husband likes posting photos of airports he is in. not date night or delicious family dinners or yogurt runs at midnight. he is an introvert and would not ever post a photo of himself and i out on date night and brag about how cool his wife it... sigh. i don't know why not because obviously his wife is SUPER DE DUPER cool.
adding to that "job like existence" is that my teenagers are not the type that like to update their statuses with loving (or at this stage i might even settle for perfunctory) updates like "best monday morning muffins ever" and tag me in that post (and maybe instagram a photo of said awesome monday muffin). then i could comment back, "no YOU are the best ever." and they would comment under that, "no you are." and this would go on all day (except whilst they were in class making straight A's.) how adorable... especially since i DO make the best monday morning muffins. up at 5:30 to make these marvels of muffins and one teen doesn't ever eat breakfast and the other one "wasn't in the muffin mood" and ate a poptart. YES, they turned down made from scratch, straight from the oven with love onto your breakfast plate that even says "i love you" right on it. it even had a BROWN SUGAR CRUMBLE ON THE TOP OF IT... turned that down for a POPTART. oh, the inhumanity.
ps. i have some extra muffins at my house if you want one. come by later.
i also have a lot of friends with little children. and they post adorable pictures of their little children doing all the adorable things little children do. i think my adorable children USED to do those things but there wasn't social media then, and my memory is fading due to the early morning muffin baking sessions, so i couldn't show the world their adorableness and get instant feedback about being the best mom ever. which might be a good thing... God introduced social media AFTER my kids were past the pinterest birthday party boards for a reasons... my sanity. and theirs. and yours.
last week my social media need for approval/pity party/comparison trap smoothie came to a triple threat envy crossroads of insanity... (that sentence alone should explain why NO one tags me in any posts. sigh.)
facebook envy point #1... a friend was in LONDON (which we shall now refer to as LEAndon forever because for some reason i think i OWN that city. or at least should own it because i am the world's hugest anglophile. i love england more than the queen loves england.) my friend's hubby took her to london. he planned the whole trip for their 25th anniversary. now i am sure my hubby (who in his own way does totally adore me) will BRING it on my 25th anniversary (insert time for skeptical laughter here)... but i don't think he will BRING IT TO LEAndon. and by "it" i mean "me". the fact that for our 20th anniversary we didn't even go out to dinner may shed some light on how much he likes to BRING IT around on anniversaries... he did build me two couches though. i think i may have put photos of those couches on facebook. and tagged him. in fact i just did a little facebook fact checking and realized that NO ONE IN MY FAMILY has ever posted a status that included me in it. sigh. early on i posted some tagging them in with me. i learned quickly that if i wanted them to EVER speak to me that kind of behavior had to stop immediately. i am a fast learner. because i like people to speak to me.
and since no one in my immediately family reads this blog i will also go and say that you can check all my birthday facebook posts on friday. none will be from my family. introverts.... don't they know that us extraverts LOVE to be publicly praised? that my love language is "words of affirmation"? i try to understand their introverted/perverted need for internet silence on their part... IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK that one day a year they could come out of their shells and acknowledge the woman who birthed three babies (one without drugs), makes muffins every monday morning and just ran a pair of running shorts up to the high school even though she was in the middle of typing up this blog post? IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?!?!?!??! come friday, it will be too much to ask of them...
facebook/instagram envy #2... then a dear friend's daughter got engaged. and both families were present and they prayed over the couple and everyone posted photos of the big moment. and somewhere deep inside me i realized that my more introverted children are more likely take out a restraining order to keep me and my camera away from any or all engagements than to plan it so that my presence is imminent. sigh. and i take such nice photos... and i pray so very well...
instagram/twitter envy #3... then some other people (that i don't really know but i follow and read their blogs) were all at the catalyst conference. like my life is ever going to take me to catalyst west/east/south/north. the music seemed awesome. the speakers were raved about. MATTY CHANDLER WAS THERE!!!! all their kids were running around soaking in the catalystness. and being instagrammed within an inch of their young lives. certainly those kids will grow up and invite their parents to pray over their engagements and instagram those engagements... and i bet they will have a catalyst in LEAndon next year. and THEY WON'T INVITE ME TO SPEAK. or listen. or instagram. or tweet.
EVERYONE'S lives look cooler and more fun than mine right now. and more validated. and more loved. and celebrated. and more exciting. and more. just more. than mine.
and maybe they aren't. perception isn't always reality.
but my perception of all of these things is making me really ungrateful for my cute dog photos. and all those beautiful trees in my life. and the fact that i did hang out with frank perretti for a little while this summer. on a boat.
so i am thinking and praying about what to do. because i don't like being so jealous of other people's lives. and it isn't their problem. it isn't my family of untagging introverts' problem. it is my sinful heart's problem. sigh.
one would think a girl with her own blog and .com address WITH HER OWN NAME ON IT wouldn't have such a need for validation. insert sarcastic laughter here...
stay tuned for part two...
and don't forget to send me facebook birthday wishes on friday.