Ah, the internet. A glorious world of selfies, makeup tutorials, like buttons, and retweets; a never ending stream of self-glorification and misrepresentation. We all put our best face forward (and a little bit tilted, to get that perfect selfie angle) and sweep all of our shortcomings under the carpet. We say whatever we want, crushing other people in our haste to feel good about ourselves, to feel like we matter. When things go wrong, we can easily blame outside influences (autocorrect, other people, a meme we saw once) instead of blaming ourselves.
But is that really good for us? Is it really how we serve God?
What all of us regular web users need is a shot of humility. We’ve all managed to start believing that because we have x amount of friends or followers, we no longer need to have charity. Cynicism and mockery are funny, so we’re crude and cruel in an effort to get likes. And when we inevitably hurt someone by our callousness, we blame them- they’re too sensitive, too prudish. We never blame ourselves, because we are obviously too popular to ever be wrong. Our power is in our popularity.
But power shouldn’t be there, should it?
What we’ve all forgotten is that power is humble. Real power is something quiet, something willing to be shamed and humbled. Like real love, real power is the Cross.
See, there’s something else we’ve lost in the haze of comment threads and clickbait. We’ve lost the cross. I’ll talk more about how we internet-aged people avoid suffering in my next post, but suffice to say that we run from anything uncomfortable when we’re online. And that includes humility, because when we’re online, everything has to be about us.
So how do we fix this? I’d suggest you pray before getting online. Pray that you build up others online, instead of yourself. Pray that you’d have the wisdom to post the truth, even when that truth might make you look bad. Learn to apologize when you’ve made a mistake. Focus on others, not on yourself.
Just like you, other people often turn to the internet because they need to fill their deep longing to be loved. Instead of letting them tear others down, give them honest love. Tell them when they’ve said something genuinely funny. Compliment them, even when they didn’t post a selfie or complain about how ugly they are. And nicely point out when they’re being less than Godly online. Don’t be afraid to gently rebuke them. Get uncomfortable. You aren’t perfect, so why should your online self be?
Love each other. I love all of you. ❤