A popular word that I have seen on social media this summer has been, “#thriving.”
While it is great to see that my friends out in the digital world are having a good time and seemingly enjoying their lives, I find this word to be a put on. It almost seems to scream the phrase, “I was having an okay time at this event, but then I put this hashtag on my picture so you know that I am ACTUALLY having a great time.”
Kind of silly in my opinion.
It is the begging of attention and affirmation from strangers. It is the want and desire to be accepted by people who don’t really matter. It is the act of taking our eyes off of who and what truly identify us, and that is Jesus Christ.
I sometimes feel like I don’t actually have the right to voice my opinion on social media issues, because hey, I’m a teenage girl and I loved social media and I believed that I was #thriving -but after a month and a half long cleanse, I began to realize the true dangers of it and how it was stripping my identity from me.
Because of my addiction and need for instant gratification, no longer did I understand what true joy was. I was under the false pre-tense that joy had to be a post on Instagram showcasing the most elaborate and adventure filled vacation. Joy in my mind was a cute pic of myself and a group of girls doing “candid laughs.” I believed that I was no more than the 300+ likes I would receive on Instagram. I lost sight of who I was, and I dreaded who I was becoming.
As someone who feels called into a field of missions for young women, the me that I was becoming was a hypocrite. I would tell young girls to love themselves and to value themselves, yet within my heart, I could not say the same thing about me. I was ill with comparison and struck with a sad and pitiful dose of jealousy. These things made me bitter and angry, and I would lash out and sob all the time. I was not me. I was what the world called for me to act like.
I became material items and cosmetics. I became new clothes. I became body image obsessed. I became a cakey version of Christianity that was only based around the cutesy little scripture pictures I had taped to my wall. I became all of the things I had never wanted for myself. I convinced myself that this was who I was, but at my inner most core, I knew this to not be true.
This is not me saying that I will never take an over edited and posed photo again. I am not stating that I am going to wear a paper bag and only wash my hair with coconut oil either (I love J.crew and blonde highlights far too much lol.) This is however, me stating that I am vowing to show a more authentic version of myself online from this moment forward.
I want to truly #thrive, but I know that I find these things in the eyes of my Lord and Savior. I am THRIVING when I am actually spending quality time with my family. I am THRIVING when I get outside and enjoy God’s nature without taking a thousand pics for the gram. I am THRIVING when I can actually sit in an uncomfortable situation without scrolling through my phone a million times. THRIVING is all about realistic friendships, it’s about love, and it is about a one on one relationship with Jesus.
THRIVE on, folks!