The other day on my walk to church, I passed by some of the most beautiful blue flowers I’d ever seen. They were so perfect; I didn’t even have to put a filter on the picture I took of them for social media purposes.
As I passed by these flowers and stopped to take a photo to share with the whole world (especially my girlfriend) via social media, I was stoked. I was so excited to deliver this newly discovered beauty to my small social media galaxy until, all of a sudden, the thoughts rolled in. The thoughts and fears of what others might think about this post clouded my mind as I stood there awkwardly in front of this person’s home debating whether or not to share their small garden secret with the world.
Men aren’t supposed to post pictures of flowers; flowers are girly.
No one is going to like this. It’s not something I normally post.
It’s just a picture of flowers. Who really cares?
Men aren’t supposed to post pictures of flowers.
You’re a man. Men don’t post flower pictures.
Flowers. Man. No.
I spent a solid two minutes standing on the sidewalk in front of this person’s house having an argument with myself about whether or not the picture was worth posting. I was consumed with whether or not this post on social media would be something people responded to positively because, just like anything I post, I would constantly check to see how many likes, comments or reTweets I got, and depending on the feedback, it would either make me happy or sad. If people responded well, I’d smile and pat myself on the back. If it were bad, I’d feel let down and probably delete it because I wouldn’t want anything that made me look unpopular left on my profile.
I always seem to shape not only my social media, but also my life, around what will get me the most responses and most gratification. The more ‘likes’ I get from people, the better I feel. If my friends liked seeing pictures of me with cats, I’d start kidnapping cats from around the neighborhood so I could take photos with them. If I knew my friends didn’t like dogs, I probably wouldn’t post pictures of dogs (even though I really love dogs and really hate cats). In short, I don’t post things because I want to or should; I post things to impress others.
This isn’t healthy, not just on social media, but for life in general. If life were about living for the approval of others, then how we treat others, our free time and ourselves would begin to be ruled by what everyone else thinks. If each moment in life turned into its own social media post and our decisions were based on the number of real-life ‘likes’ we got, then there would be a lot of important people in our lives hitting the unfollow button.
Seeking approval from others has always been a big problem of mine. That’s why I stand in front of stranger’s houses debating whether or not to post pictures of their flowers. Therefore, I want to encourage you with this:
Post the picture.
Don’t be an actor trying to perform for your friends because that’s acting and not reality. Be yourself and play the role God has picked out for you in this great story called life. Escape the worry of what others think and relax in the promise that it doesn’t matter what they think. Everyone is weird, and you’re no different. Take pictures of flowers, post them and if someone says something, tell them to stop and smell the roses.