Sometimes I think Facebook regresses us to being 5th graders in elementary school again.
Everyone wants to be liked. Everyone wants to be seen and accepted by others. This is what we were made for as humans — to connect with one another. This is why the ‘like’ button on Facebook (or on most social media platforms) is so addicting. Whether we admit it or not, we feel really good as the number of ‘likes’ increases the minute after we post something online.
Have these thoughts ever crossed your mind:
“I wonder why Dan (*replace with your friend/arch rival/nemesis/somebody you compare yourself to…) didn’t ‘like’ the picture I posted?
“I wonder why Dan gets more ‘likes’ on his posts.”
Sometimes you just want to set a rule between you and your friends that says: “I’ll like your posts, if you’ll like mine!” That way, nobody gets left out, and nobody is wondering if those friends who didn’t ‘like’ your post were inadvertently trying to tell you something in a passive-agressive way. If you’re one of those people who has a tendency to seek the approval of others, the ‘like’ button could totally drive you into Facebook Depression or Facebook Social Anxiety.
The reason is that whenever we post a picture, a thought, an idea, or something about who we are , there is a temptation to associate our value to the amount of ‘likes’ we get from our friends. There is a temptation to compare the number ‘likes’ another person gets on their post. If we were to pursue these thoughts one step further, you might find yourself face-to-face with the real question behind these thoughts.
“I wonder why Dan didn’t ‘like’ the picture I posted?” turns into: “I ‘like’ his stuff all the time. Am I just invisible or I guess I DON’T matter to him?”
“I wonder why Dan gets more ‘likes’ on his posts?” turns into: “What’s wrong with me? Am I not good enough?”
I think this is the underlining question behind it all. It is a question we have been asking even before you turned on your computer this morning. It is a question we all have been asking even before the invention of a social network. We’ve decided to enter into this life, trying to find our own answers to our worth, value, and personal meaning. In my journey, I’ve found that the only person that could answer this question is God.
I came across two Henri Nouwen quotes that really help me see this:
“As long as I keep running about asking: “Do you love me? Do you really love me?” I give all power to the voices of the world and put myself in bondage because the world is filled with “ifs.” The world says: “Yes, I love you if you are good-looking, intelligent, and wealthy. I love you if you have a good education, a good job, and good connections. I love you if you produce much, sell much, and buy much.” There are endless “ifs” hidden in the world’s love. These “ifs” enslave me, since it is impossible to respond adequately to all of them. The world’s love is and always will be conditional. As long as I keep looking for my true self in the world of conditional love, I will remain “hooked” to the world-trying, failing,and trying again. It is a world that fosters addictions because what it offers cannot satisfy the deepest craving of my heart.”
“…The world tells you many lies about who you are, and you simply have to be realistic enough to remind yourself of this. Every time you feel hurt, offended, or rejected, you have to dare to say to yourself: ‘These feelings, strong as they may be, are not telling me the truth about myself. The truth, even though I cannot feel it right now, is that I am the chosen child of God, precious in God’s eyes, called the Beloved from all eternity, and held safe in an everlasting belief.”
THIS IS GOD’S ‘LIKE’ BUTTON.