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.
6 thoughts on “The ”Fauxs” of Social Media”
Good analysis, Matthew. In my opinion blogs are a little less fake, possibly because they’re usually longer than a Facebook post and can say more about the blogger. The blogs I read include life lessons learned through humbling experiences or losses. Of course, no one really knows a person completely – we don’t even know ourselves. But your point is well taken – the Lord is unique and set apart. He is holy, perfect, and unchanging.
I agree with you. That is probably why I was drawn to the blogging community initially. While I observed some of the same issues as social media possesses, you are right in saying it allows us to elaborate more. My early blog posts revealed the ugliest parts of me as I processed previous hurts and attempted to find my place in the ministerial world again. I’m thankful for people who were patient with me during that time.
Thanks for your post brother Matthew. I have connected with a couple of men from different countries through social media. They are lonesome, some desperately seeking donors to their ministry. I explain that I am happily married over forty years and don’t have a lot of money I can donate. The way they converse with me, there must be a different meaning of friendship in the other cultures. They say things my husband would say to me and I have to strongly suggest they get off the media and out of their house to meet some real people! I’ve also disconnected with most of them because they didn’t give up!
That is the downside to social media. It’s a shame that people conduct themselves this way.
Amen, Matt! No truer words spoken. And how easily people can be lead astray.
A baby comes into this world like a new computer. No sooner one goes online that machine is bombarded with all kinds of evil influences jockying for a foothold and threatens to damage a machine that was innocent in its purpose. So immediately a firewall and virus protection is installed to protect from such unwanted invasions.
So, too it is with the new born. The world is the internet with a variety of negative influences as well as positive ones. But the parent must be the firewall and virus protection to guard against the multitude of harms that can befall the child in its development. Prudence is not taught for the most part and it is a determiner between good and evil. That is the daunting task of the parent. To instill a sense of prudence as a practice for the child to assure that child of a proper moral development in spite of the chaos in which that child must navigate. As the child’s safety is found in taking hold of its parents’ hand so too must the guiding parents keep hold of God’s hand to ensure the safety of the child as development brings it to adulthood with all his/her freckles found all in the right place.
Only through faith can we be assured of protection from the evil of faux. The word FAITH encompasses all: (F)ound (A)lways (I)n (T)hy (H)and.
Well articulated, my friend!