Lately, I’ve been thinking about the image I portray on social media. Leaving Facebook out of the equation (since I rarely use it), I’m mainly focusing on Twitter and my blog.
Last week, I stepped away from Twitter for a short while. I didn’t even plan on it, but gradually felt myself less inclined to tweet any thoughts or even open the app when I had a chance. I felt a need to step away for a while.
I know when Twitter starts to become a negative force in my life. It’s when I start using the website for validation and acceptance, when I look at all the conversations buzzing around me and feel overwhelmed. It’s when I start feeling left out and annoyed by all these conversations. It’s when the screen in front of me is more important than the person sitting next to me.
I don’t want to be a slave to my phone. I love my phone and I think it’s a ridiculously good source of information and help and guidance and community when I need it. But I can also find those things in the people standing in front of me. I can have actual conversations with real, live people! And when I stop putting effort into them, my addiction is out of control. Candy Crush is not more important than listening to a story a coworker is saying. Jumping into a Twitter conversation is not more important than my mom talking to me about her day. Finding that perfect filter for an Instagram photo is not more important than watching my nephew play t-ball.
I want to be present in my life. I want to show up. And when my nose is constantly buried in my iPhone screen, I’m not doing that. I’m present in another area, but not always present where it matters.
I have gotten completely off topic from my first sentence, though. The point of this post isn’t about using technology too much. It’s about what image I portray.
I don’t want to be someone who only uses social media to complain about anything and everything – my job, my family, my coworkers, public transportation, my neighbors, my roommate, on and on and on. I don’t want someone who seems to jump on the attack whenever someone poses a (usually) harmless question or comment. And on that same note, I also don’t want to only tweet when I have something positive to say. I think it’s important to be real and honest – sometimes, you do need to complain and it helps because you get feedback and support. There’s a fine line between complaining all the time and being sunshine and roses all the time.
So what image do I want to portray? I believe it is an image I’ve kept packed away and out of site because I’ve been trying too hard to emulate others. I want to portray an image of love, an image of Christ. I want my words to reflect Him and yes, even my tweets. I want people to see my Twitter stream and know there is something different. Not because I tweet incessantly about praying and Jesus and going to church… but because of my approach to Twitter. There are women I follow whom I deeply admire because of the way they send out this message of love and they have this light and joy to their lives that doesn’t come from having everything together – but because they know they are fiercely loved by God and want to show it off to the world.
I think there’s a fine line between tweeting every complaint you have and being positive all the time. I don’t want to tweet only when I’m happy, only when good things are happening. I want to be honest and open and vulnerable but leave out the snarkiness and whining. I don’t want to hide who I am, but neither do I want to be known as a complainer.
The same goes for my blog. What image am I portraying here? Is it a message of love, of vulnerability? Do I show Jesus through my words? Ultimately, this blog is for His glory and if I’m not using it in the right way, if I’m not showing people about Jesus through my words (again, not exactly by having every post of mine being filled with words like JESUS and MERCY and GRACE, but simply by the way I write)… what is the point to this?
That’s not to say I am drastically changing the way I blog or I’m closing up shop. These are just things I’ve been mulling over for the past week. My goal with this blog has never to become popular or land a fantastic writing gig, but to simply share my story. Write the words I want to write. To be honest and vulnerable and real with how I am feeling. I have a hard time talking about my feelings to people, but writing about it is the easiest thing for me. I never want to lose that. I just want to be certain I am doing this for the right reasons.
Stepping away from social media for a bit and clearing out the noise brings me such clarity. It helps me to see what truly matters and what I am seeking. It calms me. It brings me back to my center. And I realize what is really important in my life.