I don’t know about you, but I feel a little insecure every time I scroll through my social media newsfeeds. It seems to highlight what I’m doing wrong, especially when it looks like everyone my age should be constantly surrounded by large groups of people doing really exciting things. When you’re the kind of person who spends most of her time with small groups or one-on-one and does a terrible job of documenting social events online, it kind of feels like you’re failing at engaging in community.
I have to remind myself there’s something profound about those relationships that look more vivid in real life than on the screen. They’re deep and meaningful. I’ve noticed something about people when the crowds dwindle down, the phones go away, and there isn’t a continual pull to post on social media – it’s like breathing a sigh of relief. When we take away the pressure of living a life that looks exciting online, it creates a safe place for people to be themselves.
While it’s definitely fun to go out with a lot of friends, do cool things, or go to exciting places, (the things we do see on social media) it can’t replace those quieter moments over a cup of coffee with a dear friend as she begins to open up about a vulnerable or difficult aspect of her life. (The things we don’t see on social media) God’s Word shows us this is an essential element of community and being a part of the body of Christ. As the Church, we are called to share in each other’s burdens. There’s still a time and a place in community for social media, and it’s not wrong, but don’t feel like you’re missing out if your life looks a little different from what you see online. We have to look to God’s Word to see what true community looks like, not Facebook. The people in your life are important, and sometimes communities that have big impact come in small sizes.