Everything came together all at once.
This weekend I had the opportunity to spend time with close friends, meet new people and relax after midterms. But while I enjoyed the time that I spent with people, my mind was elsewhere: I was thinking of the best way to take a super awesome shot for my Instagram.
I say that this all comes together at once because this revelation that I had about my absenteeism in social situations came into my mind last night in a near tragic situation. Without going into too much detail, I nearly got into a car accident that had all the components of being fatal – but thankfully God was on my side and I walked away unharmed, just shaken.
On Facebook today, I read a Buzzfeed article about Essena O’Neil, an Australian Internet celebrity who recently quit many of her social media platforms after spending years building a huge Internet presence and empire. The reason why she quit was an admirable one: she saw that she was becoming consumed by this idea that she had to post “perfection” and “goal-worthy” pictures in order to be liked.
So how does this all relate?
In that split second where you have no control over the situations at hand and have no idea how it will all end, all the countless selfies, “candid” shots, #OOTD posts, aesthetic food shots… it means nothing at the end of the day.
Many people probably know that I have a large social media presence, from Facebook to Twitter, from Tumblr to this blog, from Instagram to contributing to other blogs and beyond. Lately everything that I post, especially when it comes to Instagram, has become very staged. And I too am beginning to realize, like Essena, that I am being consumed by this inner struggle of staging perfection to everyone else.
I am uploading more and more of my life to the outside world and not truly savouring the moment. I spend so much stressing out over getting the perfect shot that I forget to enjoy the company of those around me. But most of all, I am spending more time updating my life to others than I am to God.
God doesn’t care about my tweets or my status updates or Instagram pics. He knows everything that I will do before I even do it, so He doesn’t need any social media updates of any kind. But what He does want is to foster a deeper relationship with me – and you!
Lately, filters have taken priority over contemplation and prayer. I spend time finding the perfect picture to post, but what about spending time finding the perfect way to live in His image? While God doesn’t need updates throughout the day, He does appreciate the time that we spend in silence and time spent talking to Him about our troubles, our worries, but our joys and sources of happiness as well. And these are the worthwhile “updates” that He wants to hear!
After the moment of impact yesterday, I realized all too abruptly that our life can be taken away from us without warning. While I probably won’t be quitting all social media anytime soon, I know that I will spend even more time taking care of myself and updating God even more than I update my social media. You will still probably see more food shots for my food blog, selfies from time to time and very meticulous and thought out posts, but I know now that my focus should not be on trying to seem perfect.
On that note, never feel like your life is not interesting enough. Everyone’s life is unique and wonderful, and we need to take advantage of the opportunities that we have and engage in the world around us. Because if we don’t, our life will pass us by without warning.
Until next time,