In this technological age of tweets and posts and status updates and Tumblogs, and my season of young adulthood full of job applications and mission statements, there’s something nearly everyone wants from me, or you:
“Tell us about yourself.”
What is it that makes you you? Or me me? What makes me who I am? What defines me?
And then there’s this unspoken something that they want, whoever they are: they want you to be cool and hip and relevant. They want you to be important, or at least make yourself sound important. Make people want to click that “follow” button, make them want to friend you on Facebook, make them understand you, or some pretty little picture of you. And it isn’t hard to highlight our nicer qualities, what we really want them to know about us, what we think is the most marketable.
Take me, for example. Here’s my Twitter bio: “INFJ, writer, musician/designer’s gypsy wife, runner, book addict, Jesus follower.” And all of these things are true of me and who I am and what I enjoy and what I care about.
But you know what it could also say? “Passive-aggressive, temperamental, chronic over-thinker, stubborn, restless, currently on anxiety medication.”
Do I want people to know that? Absolutely not. Am I staring at those words in quotation marks and wondering if I’m really going to submit this post? You bet. I want you to like me. I want you to think I’m smart and funny and have my act together.
But I don’t. Does that make you feel better? Because it should. I don’t have my act together. And famous authors don’t, and people with five thousand Facebook friends don’t, and you probably don’t either, because life is complicated and hard. And that’s okay. That’s normal. That’s expected.
This is the problem with social media. For as much as it connects us, some days everything gets complicated and turned around and we are left staring into the mirror with eyes that doesn’t see anything remotely like that person we follow on Twitter, or the blogger we envy, or the women through whom we live vicariously on Pinterest.
Friend, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. The “marketable” parts of you are not worth more than those qualities you shrink from, though the enemy would be quick to make you think otherwise.
Take a good hard look at the qualities that define you, both good and bad. Make a list. Examine it and accept it and know that God has made you just as you are for a purpose. Maybe it’s so you can meet someone, in real life or online, who shares some of these hard-to-bear qualities, and you can be a source of encouragement for her.
Or maybe He simply wants you to know that He loves you not in spite of all you are, but because of it.
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P.S. We’d love to know your thoughts, so please be sure to comment below. Each of our commenters will be entered in a drawing for this month’s FREE book giveaway, Mothers & Daughters: Mending a Strained Relationship by author Teena Stewart.
Laura Hyers is a Tampa native, writer, and the newly wed wife of musician Caleb. She recently graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in literature and is currently teaching preschool. When not chasing a class of two-year-olds, Laura is writing and fighting fierce bouts of wanderlust. She loves music, reading, being near the ocean, and dreaming big over huge cups of coffee with her best friend Lakin. Laura blogs at http://littlebirdmarie.wordpress.com.
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3 thoughts on “If your online profile revealed the real you”
Oh, Laura. Even tho’ I read about Facebook depression and counsel my older son about it, even tho’ I ponder the counsel of a friend who says, “comparison is the death of contentment.”, I so often struggle with the sense that I am just not who I want to be. And at my age of 54, I am running out of time to get there. What a refreshing thought that God made me just as I am…even the things w/ which I struggle are by his design. Blessings to you for your insightful, encouraging post!
Carol Anne…I share your thoughts…I’m 48 and feel exactly as you just described…thank you for sharing your honesty as well…how refreshing to not be alone in this journey of life…
Thank you so much for sharing your article, Laura…could I EVER relate!!!…and you’re right…it DOES make me feel better to know I’m not the only one who struggles…thank you for being your true self…!