Hoping Your Click Makes Me Whole
While social media abounds in every nook and cranny of the Internet, loneliness is on the rise. Why? How can an active society that’s ever increasingly involved in social media be lonelier? Why are our waves of friends, likes and comments not satisfying our souls? Have we substituted “Likes” and “Friend Requests” for true intimacy? And if true intimacy is actually available and not just another Big Foot or Loch Ness monster myth, then why can’t we seem to find it? How come our longings never find the satisfaction we so desire?
On Wednesday I discussed our individual holy of holies – the inner core of our beings – as it related to personal boundaries. As the world has increased in its exhibitionism and voyeuristic pursuits on social media, we’ve made our hearts a thoroughfare for any passerby. We hock our selves at the open-market bazaar in full view of the world. And what is the price? Simply give me a click of validation, awareness, worth and love.
One is the Loneliest Number
Am I pontificating on a high soapbox in this? Nope, I am guilty. I’ve not been able to conquer the “kitty memes” well enough to be sufficiently successful on Facebook, Twitter or other social media outlets. If that were my source of affirmation, I’d have long since offed myself because I am abysmal at all these social media engagements. But I can say I have attempted to divert others into the abyss of my dark sucking need in other ways. I’ve put myself up on the auction block for the twinkling eye of notice many times! I’ve made my heart a thoroughfare hoping someone, anyone, would stop at my rest area and affirm my existence.
Why do we make our hearts so accessible? Why do we attempt to herd the masses into our secret place in order to fill the void? Because we’re looking, actually begging, for something that will make us intact. The problem is that the pedestrian way through my heart only ekes away at my wholeness. The foot traffic diminishes me – it doesn’t build me up.
Need for The Solution
Our hearts are sacred not secular. Our wholeness is found in gazing upon the Lord and making ourselves attractive to Him, not countless others. My holy of holies – my private garden – is the place where He walks with me in the cool of the morning. This is a place designed for stillness and rest, settling my anxious fears and uneasy human needs.
Social Media is just one of the sources that can dilute my person if wrongly used. My frenzy to fulfill my own need creates a kind of chaos that will only tear me apart. Forcing a mob of people into my secret place, hoping for true intimate connection, will only leave me hollow. I will look like Woodstock a day after the festival, one big muddy mess.
As I told Irene in the comments of my last post: “If we leak the power of our spirits by having a ready access to everyone, we can’t be victorious.” I recommended both Watchman Nee’s Deep Calls Unto Deep and the audio series The Heavenly Man, because each delves into how to maintain and develop our spiritual life in order that we may actually be intact.
Social Media Dilemma
My goal in writing this post is not to deter people from social media involvement. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Linked In, Snapchat, etc. are not the devil. The issue is my heart, ever my heart. The call of the ages has never changed with the fads and fancy of man. “There’s only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:42 NLT).
In the increasing frenzy of social media, I’m presented with a choice. Actually, my reaction to the stimuli will expose my heart. What am I hungering for? What’s my motivation? Am I attempting to satisfy my round hole of God need with a square peg of human interaction? Will I follow the Lord into this social media arena, only looking at what He wants to see through my eyes? Or will I become a social media junkie, diminishing my light and life, all the while looking for the affirming interaction only found in Jesus?
Yes! John, thank you for continuing this conversation. Nee says in “Deep Calls Unto Deep”, that when we expose our “roots” (our hidden heart) we become vulnerable to attack. That is precisely what happened to me when I posted on my FB page insights the Spirit had given to me and was viscously attacked by one of my “FB Friends”. The Lord has shown me that not only did I leave myself open to attack, but that the motivation of my heart was spiritual pride and a spirit of meddling. Very humbling. Now I am singing one of one of… Read more »
John, I keep thinking that this subject you’re talking about has everything to do with what Martha wrote about identity just the other day.
Who do we belong to? Do we treasure that we belong to Him?
“Identity is everything. It’s how you perceive who you are by Whose you are. Knowing who you are as related to God is spiritual life or death.”
[Their chastisement will continue until it has accomplished
(oops, I forgot to deleat the last line!)
Yes Sandy! I had just read that again today and spoke it out loud so my husband could hear those words. Identity – Whose we are . . .
Oh John…what a powerful message that all of us in the church need to hear; for we are as much taken with social media as the world. Thank you for sharing! I’m posting to my page in hopes that some of my FB friends would hear what the Spirit is saying!
…and sent them “empty”
I am talking of multitudes, not of individuals… the broken of spirit, the PERSON, the individual, was never sent empty.
What Jesus did not ever FEED was the whole concept of “numbers” and “multitudes”. To them He spoke in “parables” so that they “would not understand”.
I think Jesus so much HID Himself out of the whole of “it”.
I don’t know how to put words to this, sorry.
Thank you John. You are spot on in your concerns. Social media is the full display of humanity at a click distance. “Have instant reward!” “Show yourself!”… “Perform!” And social networks are a kind of miraculous solution for that, specially for those who want to be seen. But the whole of it is shallow at the core, because being seen and known by the multitudes is not being seen at all. That’s why Jesus fled from them from time to time, and sent them “empty”. I understand your fight with this, but this is not “new” by any means, as… Read more »