A few days ago a woman standing in line with me at the grocery store was looking down at her phone when she began to randomly complain to me about a post she read. She was specifically upset because of how annoying she found happy posts because “life can’t always be that happy.” Although difficult I made sure to keep quiet the entire time. When I got to my car I kept thinking about Ephesians 4:29 that encourages us to not let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up. She certainly hadn’t taken that approach and I was relieved to not have enabled her. I prayed for her that night; for her heart to be more at peace.
I was also left thinking about all those fun and happy posts I see everyday (and post myself!) Was this woman the exception or are a lot of people out there really upset at these positive posts on social media? A person’s decision to keep the more negative things in their life private doesn’t take away from the validity of their feel good post, right? Shouldn’t we all be smart enough to know that there is more to a person’s life than what is posted on social media? I want to believe that yes, they do have bad days, tough moments, frustrating thoughts, and hard life experiences. I sure know I’ve had, have, and will continue to have all of those. What’s happening is that they are choosing to share those moments privately with the people in their lives that they confide in. Let them! They’re allowed.
I think the problem really lies more in our reaction (whether internally or externally) to a person’s social media rather than what that person chooses to disclose. Let’s try to keep an open mind and heart next time we want to complain about someone else to anyone – especially to a stranger about social media! I’ll challenge you to take it a step further next time: stay quiet and take it to prayer.