• Sandy Reynolds

What your social media posts say about you

Updated: Jan 7, 2019

It seems to me that many of us have a conflicted relationship with social media. You may feel shame about how much time you spend on it. You may be proud of how little time you spend on it. You may proudly promote your posts and be secretly satisfied with a growing following (although you are quick to admit that followers mean nothing engagement is what really matters!). You may have a private account and don't post at all and spend a lot of time judging what other people post. 

I think that social media is at the top of the list of what people fast from these days. It seems like half my Instagram feed announces they will be fasting from social media during Lent. Like chocolate and wine we see Instagram as an indulgence and addictive. Or perhaps we have some concern that social media is impacting us spiritually? Whatever it is - we feel a need to fast from it. 

I’ve been thinking about some of the critiques I hear about social media. The privacy critique is valid. We need to be aware that we are not only sharing our lives but also selling ourselves with every post we make. Someone is making money from our ‘free’ account. There is much to be said about this loss of privacy and the accompanying risks that we take in sharing our lives. By now we all know there are risks. But many of us have chosen to continue posting and taking precautions to minimize the risks. I want to look at another critique of social media.

You’ve heard people say, especially in reference to platforms like facebook and Instagram, that we present a curated image of our lives. The concern is that spending time on social media is bad for our mental health. We see a lot of pretence on these platforms. I laughed when I read this line from an article in The Guardian, 

"If Facebook demonstrates that everyone is boring and Twitter proves that everyone is awful, Instagram makes you worry that everyone is perfect – except you.” 

If we are naive enough to believe that the images posted are representative of the whole of a person’s life, yes, we may find ourselves depressed, envious, and discontent with our own lives. And those feelings can be harmful to us emotionally, mentally and spiritually. 

Here’s an image for you - I’m writing this wearing a brown housecoat (that should tell you something about how long I have owned it). I’ve been feeling under the weather for a few days and other than getting out for a walk yesterday I haven’t left the house in two days. I haven’t showered either. I have naturally curly hair and all you curly hair girls kn