Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Redemption of My Physical Body: part eighteen

A word about Facebook.

I LOVE Facebook. I love it and I kind of hate it.

I could be on Facebook all day long. Sometimes I am. I love the little red notification that pops up when something new has happened, it's that little feeling of, oh, somebody has commented on my wall or something! Sometimes I just go down the home feed and comment on people's post so that they will remember that I exist. Throughout the day I think of different witty things I can post on my status. I post maybe a tenth of them. But that's how much Facebook is on my mind. I try to restrain myself so I don't look like one of those Facebookers who post all the time and are on all the time. When it gets really scary is when I'm Facebook stalking people I don't even know. I'm looking at their wedding pictures, pictures of their baby belly, and just keep clicking and clicking. You can get a whole history of a person just by going through their photos... or what you think is their history.

I can tend to have an unhealthy relationship with Facebook. However, the reason why I don't just delete my account is because of the few healthy things that I do on Facebook. The personal messages I share with my sisters-in-law, the messages I've gotten from you all as readers, the encouragement, the times when I have been able to post scripture and someone will comment that it impacted them... All of these things are the good sides of this double-edged sword.

I am learning to monitor myself on this thing. If I start to go look at the last 50 pictures of a person and read their whole feed for the past month, then I need to just shut the computer and walk away. If I'm just sitting there, meandering and not really doing anything that matters, I've checked the latest of what's up with my friends, birthdays, etc, then I just shut my computer and walk away. There are times when I need to rest. Really rest, not sit on the couch and meander on Facebook, but close my eyes and put up my feet and breathe, that's when I close my computer and rest. (In no way am I perfect in these things. Just the other day I was looking at someone's wedding pictures whom I don't even know)... but I'm trying.

The other caution I have with this incredible social network is the false sense of community it creates. I post something on my wall. This person comments on it in 140 characters or less. I feel like I have just had a conversation with that person, I feel like I have just looked them in their smiling face and talked to them. But I haven't. Again, there is nothing wrong with updates and wall posts, sometimes they are SO ENCOURAGING and I feel like we as Christians can use our Facebooks to glorify God, but I don't ever want it to replace my community. I need to still set up coffee dates, invite others over for dinner (who the heck does that anymore?!?) pick up the phone and call (except that I HATE phones, I'm terrible in every way at phones, so if you are my friend and talk to me on the phone I apologize for all the awkwardness of that).

Okay, my one last complaint against Facebook. (Again, I want to reinforce the fact that I use Facebook on a daily basis and I will continue to do so even after I post this.) The way we can present ourselves. We have profiles and profile pictures, posts, walls, notes... anyone can present themselves in any way. Of course the way you want to present yourself as this good-looking person. (I have untagged myself from unflattering photos, yes, I have done it). The problem comes I think when I look on Facebook and I see that everyone else has their lives together. They are really smart and witty, they have more comments on their pictures than I do. Their baby is cuter or more popular than mine is, they are skinnier than me, they had a prettier wedding than I did, her husband is cute, or he's not so cute... All this stuff is rooted in comparison. Women have major issues with comparison. I have major major issues with comparison. I have thoughts that I can't even control they are so automatic where I compare myself with every other female around me. Is she prettier than me, fatter than me, nicer than me, smarter than me, more talented than me... sometimes I win, sometimes she wins.

The most ridiculous part is that someone actually wins or loses.

This is not how God created us.

He created us as individuals each to reflect His image. When I walk down the street I am looking at hundreds of image bearers of God. Each one reflecting His creativity and beauty. I reflect it differently than the next person. No matter my hair color, eye color, if I have a long torso, if I struggle with my weight, the size of my butt or chest, if I have to wear braces, or the state of my skin. It's the lie of the enemy that we compare ourselves. The enemy wants to drive wedges between us women because we could have such wonderful, fruitful relationships with each other, if we weren't so afraid of how we measured up to one another.

Lord, help me not to compare.

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