Hello Honest Readers, Have you ever looked at social media and thought any of the following? Another vacation? Do they ever even work? I wish I had money to always buy new clothes. How can everyone else be having a baby except me? They are getting married? I surely thought I would be married before them. I can’t believe they just posted that, I thought they were a Christian? Their life looks so perfect, etc. If you have ever thought, or better yet, said any of the things above, you and I can relate. I have spent more time than I would like to admit scrolling through Facebook or Instagram. Scrolling through social media is not my problem. My problem is that while I am scrolling, I spend my time judging and comparing myself. I have had to take several social media breaks for this very reason. I have also taken social media breaks because I couldn’t handle all of the stupidity I was seeing and knew that I did not have the capacity for the grace I needed to show to others. Phew. That was nice to get off of my chest. I realize I should be less judgmental of what people post and just keep scrolling. I believe that most social media platforms were created to help us keep in touch with one another. I think this sentiment is beautiful. Honestly. I love the idea of being able to keep in touch with my friends who currently live in Alaska. I love seeing them post pictures of the awesome activities they are doing as a family. After that beauty wears off, social media seems to turn into a black hole for your hopes and dreams. Too dramatic? I’m not so sure. When Thomas and I got married in 2014, I had this very naïve idea of what our life together would entail. I thought we would move far away from our hometowns and start fresh as a newly formed family. I thought we would have several children early. I thought we would buy a house and Thomas would get a job working as a youth pastor while I worked as a social worker. Out of the five things I mentioned above, one of them came to fruition within three years of our marriage. ONE. To say that I was devastated when things didn't turn out like I had imagined is an understatement. Want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans. I truly believe that I can attribute some of this disappointment to social media. I am not blaming social media for my life not turning out the way I imagined. I am saying that my view of life was colored by the lives of those I saw on a screen. Is this my fault? Yes. Should I have been more aware of reality? Yes. Did I realize this truth at the time? No. If I can be completely honest, I’m not sure I don’t need this reminder weekly, if not daily. What we see on a profile or feed is not reality. It is the reality that people are willing to allow you to see. Think about it, would you want people to see how dirty your home really is? Or maybe hear the “conversation” you had with your husband about him not taking out the trash yesterday like he said he would? Insert the ugly parts of your life that you try to hide from others. One of my favorite rappers, Andy Mineo, has a brilliant line in his song Shame. “Everybody’s crooked, some just do a better job of hiding it.” I’m not saying people are awful and have no redeeming qualities, but I am saying we all have things we want to keep hidden from the world of social media. I am not casting judgment on people who have a strong social media presence. If you haven’t noticed, I have started to post and share photos on my story to promote HB. I imagine that is the exact reason you are reading this right now. The point is this, comparison will steal your joy, and judgment is meant for God. Comparison stealing your joy is something we can comprehend. Joy is an eternal thing that we can access at any time and comparing ourselves robs us of the joy we have been given by God. Judgment being meant for God? Ha. That is something we haven’t quite mastered yet. As far as judgment goes, I believe we all know judging others based upon our views is not a positive practice. I have accepted the fact that I am flawed, so why can’t I give others the same courtesy? I believe that my struggle comes from not trying to see things through the perspectives of others. Isn’t it crazy that a lot of us claim to be Christians and cling to the idea of God loving us despite our faults, and yet we can’t love those who sin differently than us? Social media gives us the unique opportunity to practice what we preach, so to speak. Say you see someone post about a topic or viewpoint you aren’t too jazzed about. Instead of chastising them and putting on your judgment hat, just keep scrolling. When we spend our time comparing ourselves to those around us and judging others, we will never truly appreciate the blessings we have. This is hard to realize when I am scrolling through my “perfect” friend’s Facebook page and wishing I had three children and was packing for another trip to Hawaii. Honestly, we all have blessings that someone is sitting at home wishing and praying for. This is a hard pill for me to swallow because sometimes life sucks. Like, majorly sucks. In the midst of that suckiness, I believe the Lord has been teaching me to look outside of my hurt and pain and focus on the good. No matter how terrible things are, there is still hope. All we need to do is just keep scrolling. How has social media impacted you? Do you agree with my thoughts, or do you have a completely different perspective? Let me know in the comments! I can’t wait to hear from you and see your take on one of our world’s most popular past times.