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  • Writer's pictureAlyssa Brouillet

followers or a follower


This month, my study abroad journey in France has commenced! It’s exciting to travel to new places, try foreign foods, and meet people from different backgrounds. But because I am here alone, I find myself documenting much of my trip to share with my loved ones. There’s so much going on around me that I wish they were here to try and experience for themselves. Given the circumstances, I have defaulted to posting on social media as a method of sharing.


Since I have spent more time on social media lately than I’m used to, I have found myself in need of a cleanse from it. These past few days, I have taken time off to re-evaluate the way I use social media and the effects it has on my thinking. During this time, God has shown me how important it is to transition our focus from followers to being a follower.


I’m used to writing social media strategies for work, so I’ve created a similar structure of strategies that focus on faith.


Social Media Strategies


1. QUIT COMPARING:

Social media is a platform for comparison. Remember that much of what we see on social media isn’t real. We compare our bodies to each other, our lifestyles, our success-- but God never meant for us to compare ourselves. He made us each unique with our own gifts and purpose. We weren’t meant to look or be like anyone else. Not to mention, a lot of what we see online isn’t authentic. We live in a time where people can edit anything they want: their face, body, hair, etc. Another reality is that vast majority of us only post the highlights of our lives.


No one is perfect or lives the perfect life. We just tend to show the world our highlight reel, or project an image of how we want our lives to appear. People are picking and choosing the content that we see. We only get the edited version. Yet, we compare ourselves. Comparison wasn’t meant for us. Neither were the mental health struggles and

eating disorders that tend to result from it. You are unique because God intended you to be. Your life and body will never look the same as someone else’s -- it’s not supposed to. You are exactly as God meant for you to be.


“But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you.’ The head can never say to the feet, ‘ I don’t need you.’” 1 Corinthians 12:18-21 (NLT)


God made us all different for a reason. He placed you exactly where you are, as you are, and with what you have because He has a plan made specifically for you. His plan for your life won’t look like someone else’s. It’s not supposed to. So, don’t compare how God has created you and planned your life to what he has made for someone else.



2. IDENTIFY YOUR PURPOSE FOR POSTING:


Have you ever stared at your picture for an hour wondering if you should post it? And at that point, you’ve analyzed it so much you hate it, right? Quit worrying about how flattering the photo is, and instead focus on capturing the moment. What is your purpose for taking the photo? Is it to flaunt your appearance and belongings, send a message, or capture a moment? Instead of dwelling on the angle or lighting of your photo, focus on how happy you are. Are you documenting something to share and look back on? Or, are you seeking attention? Where do you get your validation? From God? Or, by how much attention you receive on social media? Know the purpose behind the type of content you post and what you are seeking when you post it.


“Obviously, I am not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” Galatians 1:10 (NLT)


Seeking validation on social media is a dangerous game. We get so caught up in the number of followers, likes, and comments that we tend to base our worth and status off of it. When a post doesn’t receive as much engagement or you lose followers, how do you respond? How much does your social media presence influence your self-view?



3. PROJECT THE RIGHT IMAGE:


Stop for a second and ask yourself this question: If someone who didn’t know you looked at your profile, could they tell that you were a Christian (outside of the verse in your bio)? Our words, actions, and the image we project should all reflect Christ. As Christians, we should live in a way where people can see that we live by faith without us having to say it. So, what does your profile say about you?


In high school, my creative writing teacher once had my class do an exercise that stuck with me. She asked us all to pull up our social media pages on our phones, and then we had to exchange them with the people sitting next to us. Once we had exchanged profiles, she made each of us describe the stranger sitting next to us by the impression we got from their profile. It’s eye-opening to hear what opinion someone formulates about you based off of the image you project on your social media profile. If someone who didn’t know you looked at yours, what do you think they would say about you? Are you projecting an image that reflects God and a Christian lifestyle?


“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2 (NIV)


Living as “A Follower”


I’m not saying that social media is all bad. We just need to be careful about how we use it. Many of us tend to get so distracted by likes, comments, and follower counts that we lose sight of the One we should be following. The content that may be popular to the world is often not the content that reflects God or His kingdom. Remember that as you build profiles online. Are you projecting yourself as a Christian and using social media in a way that honors God?


And as you use social media, never forget that you were fearfully and wonderfully made. You were created by a perfect God. Our God never makes mistakes, and He didn’t start with you.


“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalms 139:14 (NIV)



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