Social Media and Oversharing
Since the establishment of social media, we have seen the world give voice to those who arguably should’ve never had a platform. The obscene comments, diary confessions, and insensitivity has risen over the years as people try to one-up each other in shocking the world. From inappropriate signature names to the exposure of private messages, videos, and pictures, it’s hard to realize where we overshare and where we need to speak. I have spent the past nine years finding my way to a happy medium. The problem is, that “happy medium” is relative.
It has come to my attention that transparency and honesty make readers nervous. They don’t like it when you admit you struggle, have sinned, or think about inappropriate things. For a while, I assumed the issue with my posts were that they were difficult to read and understand. It’s hard to convey your point with a limited number of characters, ergo this essay.
Now I’m in no way about to explain every single post I’ve made in my past. In fact, I’m not explaining a single one. One reason for that is because I don’t remember what I posted. I tend to let thoughts pour from my mind and move on. We can always converse about them if you approach me about them, but some are too afraid to do so. That, I cannot help. The other reason is I don’t owe you an explanation. If you didn’t understand where I was coming from, that’s fair and fine. If the message missed the mark, that’s fine. I’m not perfect and I don’t always get it right. The only thing I ask you to do is not assume.
It’s hard to read posts from one user day in and day out without assuming their state of mind or state of life, I know. However, if you never message the user to inquire the full truth, who are you to assume anything about them? Assumptions lead us into responding in ways that are shameful. These days you can’t even assume people are single or taken! It’s out of control!
One particular subject people assume about me is relationships and my desire to have one. I preface this with the following: I know I’m going to be a husband one day. God has told me so. This knowledge however, does not prevent the temptations to lust, be impatient, feel lonely, feel depressed, or glorify marriage. As much as I’d like to happily wait on the Lord in song and dance, that’s not realistic for me. Even Solomon wrote “those who increase knowledge increase sorrow.” I asked the Lord about my wife and God told me an answer, which I will not present that answer to you. Just know that sometimes the wait gets a little hard, and I have no qualms admitting that.
To shield myself from the assumptions that I’m lonely, a sap, can’t get a girl, don’t meet women, or some other assumption, I deflect with lustful jokes and posts that make my life look better. This creates a confusion, which I want, when it comes to my state of mind and state of emotion. Forgive the curiosity, but I love seeing how people respond or assume. It helps me understand how to choose my words better or how to present my life.
To debunk a few of these assumptions: I do meet women, but I rarely find one I’m willing to date. I do go out, but every outing is not about finding “the one”. That’s not how someone called to be a husband should act. Sure, he who FINDS a wife… blah blah blah. You can find something without having to look for it. Ever found money just lying on the ground? Were you looking on the ground for money when you found it? I’m pretty sure, an assumption, most of us have found money on the ground without looking for money on the ground. I stopped being lonely about three years ago. I don’t like the feeling. I’ve learned to be content with me and God, and what a duo if I may say so myself... I am a sap, though. That I have no shame in. Why should I be ashamed about the fact that I want to take care of one of God’s daughters for the rest of her life? Is it a bad thing to want to shower her with romantic gestures and words? Isn’t that one of the greatest experiences in being a man?
Despite trying to convey that my life is good and that the confessions are more so bits and pieces exposing that it’s not perfect, I still get some of the strangest reactions. I keep trying to work on my ability to convey messages in a short sentence to a paragraph, but again, I’m not perfect. However, I keep trying.
I want my post to show I have nothing to hide. I don’t want to hide anything because Jesus said “Nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. Therefore, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed from the housetops.” I don’t want to be a Pharisee. I don’t want you to only see the wisdom posts, the praise God posts, or the posts that convey that life is good and I am blessed. I don’t want to only post scriptures. I want you to see the nitty-gritty, the perverse, the admittance of guilt, the evil, etc. After all, Solomon (again. I love King Solomon) did say “No one who conceals transgressions will prosper, but one who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”
Daily, I die to myself and confess my sins, but I am no fool. I know that pearls can be casted before swine, but swine have a way of presenting themselves as friends, family, or even fellow Christians. I post my sins and feelings to see who will laugh at me, who will make me the butt of their joke, who will chastise, who will try to silence me, and who will encourage me, who will offer wisdom, and who will pray for me. I remember the tendencies of them all, and when the Lord blesses me, only the encouragers, praying partners, and wise counselors will be blessed by me.
This world is complicated, and my posts reflect that complication. I post what I post so many will know that they are not alone in their thoughts. We all go through the same things someone else went through or is going through. Instead of assuming all of these unnecessarily negative things, why don’t you pray for me? To those of you who both assume and pray, why can’t you let the assumptions die and talk to me before you try and pray for me? Your prayers are unheard when you don’t truly know what is going on with me.
Why do we fear people knowing our faults? Why do we fear letting people know hormones have affected us? Why do we fear confessing our sins to people? If people judge, God has already judged and His Word is eternal unlike the fleeting words of men and women who know not what they do. He has called us His children. He has called us worthy of sacrifice. He has called us His beloveds. He has called us His masterpieces. He has called us His bride.
Why do you we fear what other people think? I rarely care, but I do wonder, sometimes, when people tell me (without giving names) that some people have come to them about me. I wonder if they hold private group chats about me, sub me in a post, or use my name to convey a nasty thing about me but fail to tag me in the message. It’s all very confusing. I show you that I am open and you cower behind my back to talk about me? I try not to do that to anyone, and I can’t remember the last time I did, though I’m sure someone could tell me. I try to be nice, but eventually I will confront you.
I say all this to say, my posts aren’t going to change much. I believe in being honest and transparent. I believe in confessing my sins so that someone in the world knows they aren’t battling alone, that those who fall into temptation and judge me can be exposed, and so that the forgiveness of God can pour over me like a stream of water. I am forgiven. I believe in seeking accountability to remain in repentance, though for this I suggest getting someone close to you who knows you.
I will try to stop tempting you all to judge me. I will try to convey the glory and victory of God despite my shortcomings always. I will try to say more with less. I will keep you all close enough to my life to know that I am doing fine. Social media is not and will never be my diary. If you think I’ve confessed everything, you are far from correct. It gets much darker. However, when I experience God in any capacity, I will let you know. When He handles me in my sin, when He forgives me, when He opens my eyes to an issue in me, or when He simply blesses me in a way I didn’t expect. You can assume you’ve figured me out, but life continues to prove that you didn’t.
I am not the butt of a joke, I am not revealing everything going on in my life, I am not sharing people’s private information, and when I get a wife, you won’t even know what’s going on with us. So save your judgment, come to me about your assumptions, and communicate. I come to the world to converse very often. If you need to understand something I said or simply talk, come. I don’t bite, I don’t condemn, and I can maturely agree to disagree without name calling. May we all continue to grow in some way, shape, or form as time passes. I love you all.