The Likes of Social Media

Originally published Wednesday, 16 October 2013.




Sometimes when I scroll through my social media feeds I feel like there’s a 1000 voices shouting: 

Look at me!

I’m awesome.

I’m awful.

My house is beautiful.

My house is a mess.

My marriage is perfect.

My marriage is horrible.

My kids are superstars.

My kids are naughty.

I’m cooking gourmet tonight.

I’m drive-thruing it tonight.

Like, like, like. Share, share, share. Friend, follow, favorite. Unfollow, unfriend, unfavorite.

Oh, what a complicated social media culture we live in.

From generation-to-generation there have always been defining tools the enemy of our souls has used. Things like the mirror, the scale or our financial status. But there’s a new way I see us being defined which is leading a lot of people to a place of discouragement:

Trusting our social media “likes”.

As a struggling writer, I understand this defining tool of the enemy all to well. And I’m seeing that it is something that can become very unsafe to our souls [writer or no writer.]

“A man is a fool to trust himself. But those who use God’s wisdom are safe.” –Proverbs 28:26

I love my social media friends. They offer much support, encouragement and connection. And I love social media as a tool to share life with others we would normally not connect with. It’s so amazing to live in a time where we can say one sentence to a thousand people instantly.

But here’s my struggle: trusting my social media likes is often easier than trusting the voice of God in my life.


Sometimes I hold back what I really feel God leading me to say in fear of loosing followers.

I didn’t start off this way. But all it takes are a few harsh comments. Then, as I sit down to write, I hear those voices. They hold me back from having the courage to say what I know needs to be said.

It’s not always safe to trust our social media likes.

And sometimes I've said things via social media that was a subliminal message to someone instead of having the courage to say it to the person’s face.

Anyone can sit behind a computer and say something anonymously with guts. But having the courage to have a hard conversation with someone privately often feels like a lost cause. Most of the time these bold subliminal messages seem to resonate with people, which makes things even more complicated.

It’s not always safe to trust our social media likes.

But even worse, sometimes I’ve felt less than valued as a writer when I didn’t get all those virtual high-fives for something I’ve written.

Using our “likes” as a tool for measuring what connects with other people isn’t such a bad thing. But we shouldn’t get discouraged when we’ve been obedient to God and it didn’t seem to settle with many people.

It’s not always safe to trust our social media likes.

The reality is I don’t know if we live in a culture that allows us to completely disconnect from all social media. Taking a break from it, stepping back and keeping the right perspective are all great things. But as we engage via social media might we hold close the promise today found in Proverbs 26:28.

It’s not always safe to trust our social media likes but we are always protected when we trust God.

So friend, I pray today we might have the courage to say the things we need to say. Hold close the people we need to hold closely. Let go of the people who don’t make us well. And find our value in trusting God’s voice more than ever.