WORDS + PHOTOS | KATEY LEE
LETTERING | SAM PALENCIA
Roll-and-Scroll: (verb) the act of waking up, rolling over, and scrolling through social media. There are plenty of opinions out there as to whether the roll-and-scroll is a good thing, but regardless, we all still do it. We wake up and read Taylor Swift’s latest Tweet, see who Snapchatted from Disneyland last night, and fawn over various landscapes and coffee shops on Instagram. I can scroll and double-tap with the best of them, but I have to admit, I have often found these apps to be a catalyst of discontent in my life.
With the current culture of social media, we all have a carefully curated identity that we display on our Instagram or Twitter or even Snapchat. We show people our ideal self and our ideal selfies; an idyllic lifestyle with precisely exhibited filters, activities, and friendships. That’s not to say that these things we post are entirely false or untrue, but when we feel like we have an image to uphold and that our worth as a person is affected by the number of likes we get and how our “followers” perceive us, it may be time to step back and gain a higher perspective.
It boils down to an issue of comparison. I compare myself – my photography, my clothes, my family, my employment status, my education, my body – to other people I see, whether friends or strangers. But most of the time, I am comparing the most hidden, intimate, raw, muddy parts of myself to someone else’s picture-perfect social media life. I follow so many Instagram accounts of beautiful people who go to beautiful places that I forget that I’ve never actually had a conversation with them or seen them after they’ve just woken up or after they’ve cried. I don’t know them. I see their Instagram identity, but nothing more than that.
This same phenomena can apply even to people who we actually do know. I have had friends tell me that they had no idea I was going through a rough time because it didn’t look like it from what I had posted on social media. If someone had been comparing themselves to me, they would have thought that I was the one with my life together, when, in fact, the complete opposite was true.
As a result of these comparisons, I find myself perpetually dissatisfied with who I am; my photos aren’t good enough, my skin has too many blemishes, I haven’t gone to as many cool places at this person, I don’t have my life together like so-and-so does. When I measure my worth by comparison, I feel like I have no worth. I feel empty and desperate to hold significance and importance as a person.
I know the answer to this emptiness. I know that in Genesis 1:27 it says that “God created man in his own image,” that in Ephesians 4:22-24 we are told to “put off [our] old self” and to “be renewed in the spirit of [our] minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God.” How can I compare myself, a being created in the image of God, and come up with anything less than wonderful? Not ignoring my flaws, but not devaluing my worth because of them. I am quick to tell others not to find their value in the world, but time and time again I find myself sucked back into the vortex of comparison and worthlessness.
WHOLE AND COMPLETE IN CHRIST ALONE
It is only when I dwell on the truth of the Word that I am granted peace and security in my value in Christ. My next Instagram post will not complete me, a trip to the PNW will not complete me, a new friend or a new job will not complete me; for I have already been made whole and complete in Christ alone.
If you find yourself overwhelmed, delete your apps for a week and take a break. But do not let yourself be overcome by the lies that you are worthless. And when you are overcome, because you will be, battle those lies with the truth that the God of the universe has created you in His own image; He knows you and has given you new hope and life. When He is beside you, and He always is, you will not be shaken (Psalm 16:8).