I tell young women, especially mothers, to stop comparing themselves with others. The biggest culprit today? Facebook.
Sitting in front of your screen or holding your Smartphone with exciting, supermom lives popping up in your face while you’re dealing with a screaming, runny-nosed two-year old in which you want to run out the back door to escape from – is nothing but deflating. It causes immense striving for the unattainable woman of perfection. This woman is worse than the Proverbs 31 woman, because this woman lives on earth right now. She’s current, and she’s on Facebook everyday.
Men compare themselves to other men physically by “sizing them up.” “Yeah, I could take them on,” they process. (I’ve been told by a man that men really think this.) Women compare themselves to other women physically as well, but they also tend to imagine everything about that woman in a split second. She awakes before dawn, she teaches her children manners – and they obey, she balances work and home life, she pursues her dreams, she never yells at her children, she is confident in her identity, she seeks out Pinterest and is able to pull it off, she makes only healthy meals, looks good in a bikini, and has no stretch marks. And she folds her towels perfectly. Yes, women are able to process all of this in a split second. But I counter this image with EVERYONE is struggling with something. NO ONE is perfect and WE’RE ALL on this rough and rocky journey called life. Anything else is but a facade.
I’m reminded how important it is to share life together IN PERSON. There’s no putting up your best picture. It’s raw and real. I met with someone just yesterday over coffee and she shared with me several heartaches and struggles that will no way be shared on Facebook – and they shouldn’t. But oh, how important it was for her to be able to share it with someone who could understand, touch her hand, and end with a hug.
My husband and I lead a small group of young couples and every week I’m astounded and reminded how important it is to gather together IN PERSON and share life. When we share our struggles with each other, we see that we’re not alone, we’re not the only one who feels that way, and we can offer help, advice, or at least some comfort. A few weeks ago many shared in our small group how they feel isolated – a lot. I couldn’t help but wonder if it’s our social media world that makes us “feel” a virtual connection, but falls short of an actual human touch.
I don’t believe the writer of Hebrews could see into the future and conceive a world such as ours today, but the principle is timeless:
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching. – Hebrews 10:25