Jennifer Kostick– Jennifer has been married for twenty-three years to her high school sweetheart, Paul. She is the mother of three children, Paul IV (22), Samuel (6), and Grace (6). She also has six babies residing in heaven. It is those six tiny souls who have propelled her into women’s ministry. She is a conference speaker and author of the book Nothing to Hold but Hope (one woman's journey through miscarriage, stillbirth, and infertility). Jennifer blogs at www.Jenniferkostick.com and is passionate about encouraging women through a godly message of mercy and hope.
She looks through her list of followers trying to see who might have said goodbye. Who was it that regarded her words as unimportant and the pictures of her life not worthy enough to be viewed?
This type of social media says, “You can follow me, you can see me, but I might not care enough to see you. You might not matter enough. Your words, your heart, your soul cry, it isn’t important yet. Maybe when your ratio changes – when you have more followers and are following less, maybe then I will follow you back. Maybe then you’ll matter.”
She counts her likes and looks at her “friends” list needing to see if she was accepted. Does anyone care about her life? She’s been unfriended and blocked before, which to her equals abandoned and abused.
This is the new world we live inside. The one which has wonderful possibilities and genius ideas muddled with hurt, disappointment, and skewed self worth.
A few months ago, I was having a day that left me feeling completely overwhelmed. Earlier in the morning while in the midst of total chaos, I received a text from twitter telling me that someone I highly respected, and had been following for quite some time, had decided to follow me back. I was excited. I hadn’t done anything to gain this person’s attention. I didn’t send any tweets or mention her name on my blog, but I read her work quite often and was excited at the possibility that maybe she had read mine.
I was in the middle of at least ten tasks when the text came through, so I couldn’t send a “thank you for following me” tweet back. When I returned home and finally logged on to twitter, I realized the person was no longer following me. I went to their feed only to find tweets explaining how she had been hacked and was only made aware because her twitter ratio shifted. This person was now following back many people who had been following her. However, it was all a big mistake. As a result, she had been spending the day frantically deleting the people which were accidentally followed.
I understand. When it comes to twitter, it is used for marketing and networking more than anything else. I also have reasons for not following people back. If someone isn’t in my niche, or I don’t know them at all, then I usually don’t follow them back either. I wait and see. I will also admit that sometimes people slip through the cracks. I don’t even realize they’ve followed me. I’m not the girl who counts her likes and watches her followers regularly. From a blogging business perspective, maybe I should. Maybe I would be building a larger platform if I did. But at what expense? Or maybe I should ask, “At whose expense?”
I’m not condemning this person or saying that ultimately her heart isn’t in the right place. Had I been hacked, I would have probably done the same thing. I’m also not saying you should follow back or accept a friend request from someone you don’t know anything about. I realize there is much more to all of this. It’s complicated. However, what I am saying is that we must be careful.
What we say and how we say it, who we follow and unfollow, it all makes a difference in the heart of someone else. Social media can be both a blessing and a curse. There is power in the way it is used. (Oh, and I’ve unfollowed people on twitter too. I’m not innocent, but I’m working to see the person and not just the avatar.)
Today, I need to tell you this:
Your value is NOT determined by the number of friends you have on Facebook.
The number of twitter followers you have, or who personally follows you, does NOT define your worth.
No matter how many people choose to follow you, or not, on Instagram, you ARE beautiful!
Behind the profile pictures, are real people with beating hearts who need and want to feel as if they have worth. They are wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, friends, coworkers, church members, teachers, writers, missionaries, and beautiful souls all trying to do life. They would like to do it feeling as if they are part of community. They would love to feel loved. And they would prefer not be a deleted accident.
So, just in case you ever need reminded, I want you to realize that you are more than your Klout score! You have more influence than you realize! You are daughters of the King! You have worth, because Christ is worthy!
PS: This post is something I wrote a while ago, but the topic seems to be resurfacing again. Join me for more conversation on JenniferKostick.com