Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Highlight Reel

I once heard Steven Furtick say, "Stop comparing your life to everyone else's highlight reel."

He of course, was referring to the slippery slope of today's social media platforms.  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blogs, etc. are all a part of our lives these days, no matter how routinely you check your notifications or scroll through the buzz.  This comparison thing can quickly turn into jealousy, dishonesty, gossiping, and a whole host of other ugly outcomes.  My observation is that women are especially vulnerable to this behavior, purely judging by how many times my husband has told me to chill out when browsing Instagram.

This "being all up in everybody's grill" is a relatively new phenomenon, I guess specific to our generation.  We are the first ones to know in real-time what everybody else made for dinner (guilty), what our kid is doing every five seconds (especially guilty), where we've gone on our "run" (yep), or what we look like in front of a Target dressing room mirror (not guilty, thankfully).

The most bizarre thing of all is that all of this occurs without much of a relational investment.  I may have not seen you since middle school, but if I bumped into you in real-life I would know everything that's happened to you in minute detail.  Do I pretend to not know that your dog just died?  Creepy.  Maybe it is my personality, but I am genuinely interested in what people are doing.  It's almost like a reality show, starring the people you've known throughout your life, minus (hopefully) much of the fake drama.  Or so we think.

The worst part of all, is that what you see isn't always what you get.  It is scary how much perception can be skewed, even of ourselves.  This came to my attention a few weeks ago, when after a friend's birthday party (Duck Dynasty themed), my friend texted me a picture that she had taken of Ben, Olivia, and I.

I actually wanted to fall out when I saw it.

There's at least a twenty-pound difference.  I look like a complete bozo.  That shirt does not fit the way I thought it did, (when my husband assured me it looked good at the thrift store).  I have bad posture.  And let's not even discuss the head piece.

Go ahead and scroll back up to Exhibit A, also known as the picture I posted on Instagram.  Major difference, huh?


1.  People (obviously including myself) don't post ugly or unflattering photos of themselves.  They (we) just don't.  Which translates to this: nobody is as perfect as they seem on Facebook.

2.  Let's forge real relationships again.  This internet thing is great for connecting, encouraging, and a whole host of other wonderful things, but there is absolutely no substitute for actual 3-D friends living in community together.

3.  This one probably only applies to me.  Stop assuming things and relax.  No, really.  Comparison isn't helpful.  To anyone.  At all.  Especially when you're comparing true (what you see in the mirror) to false (what is intentionally or unintentionally portrayed on social media).

4.  Let's all start posting ugly pictures of ourselves so we're pleasantly surprised in real life.  A Highlight  REAL of sorts...

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