I will never forget when social media first became the rave. The year was 2006, and I was living in the southern part of Georgia. MySpace was just coming out, and people were flocking to it like crazy. That was until Facebook came out. While I liked MySpace, others were much more attracted to Facebook. Before I knew it, MySpace was a ghost town. At that time, these sites appeared to be a gift as they reconnected me with friends from high school and people in previous ministries I served. At the end of the day, it seemed as though as few curses came with that gift along with lots of “fauxs”.
Faux Image. Social media has produced a false image. I cannot help but crack up as I reflect on how a profile picture can give us a false representation of who a person really is. Thanks to filters and other editing, we can convince people we look younger or thinner than we really do. These social media outlets have almost become glorified dating websites, leading us to say the “right things” that will attract an audience. We put our “best self” forward. But is it really our best self?
Faux Confidence. I have seen the most socially awkward people in person become the life of the party on social media. The thrill of hiding behind a screen gives them this false confidence, equipping them to say bold things they would never say to someone’s face. Then the social media platform becomes a virtual bar room fight as people hurl their virtual punches at each other. It is especially sickening as I observe Christians engage in this behavior, showing off their “spiritual muscles” to see whose spirituality is bigger. The real you is not who you portray on screen; it is who you are in the dark.
Faux Intimacy. I do not doubt nor negate the reality that people make real friendships or even romantic relationships that begin on social media, but I also recognize that people often feel a sense of false intimacy on these platforms. It is very easy to type false words of affirmation to a person you do not really know and create false bonds or emotions that are more of a fairy tale than reality. There are too many tales of men and women that chased relationships, often leaving their spouses, for this false intimacy they found in the virtual arms of another.
These “fauxs” are really foes. They are enemies to your life. While this is not a sermon against social media, it is a warning against the fake. This is very much common knowledge that is often ignored. People are feeling a void in life. Many have a horrible self-image, lack of self-confidence, and little to no true intimacy in life. While it is great to have affirmation from people, it is better to have security in Christ.
We have no full guarantee in life that we will not receive superficiality from people. People will always act like people, and people are fickle. They are much like the box of chocolates Forrest Gump described – you never know what you’re gonna get! Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He wants a relationship with YOU! He wants you to come to Him and experience the freedom of knowing your sins are forgiven! He wants to give you the stability you cannot find elsewhere!
If you do not know Christ as your Savior, you can trust Him today. It is a decision you will not regret.