I wonder if CS Lewis were alive today, would he be a regular on Instagram stories or Facebook Live?
Would he really care?
This blog is a safe space to share and talk and I’d like to do that with you about something that’s been on my heart:
The tension between being still and being online.
I say tension because here’s the truth: the more time I spend posting and interacting with people on social media, the bigger my platform can get and the more people are aware of me and I get big and famous and all is well in the world.
Except it isn’t.
Because I hear God shouting through a megaphone in my soul: Be still. Be quiet. Fill. Listen. Chill out. Stay away from the temptation to perform or prove or go.
I don’t believe in throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I love social media. I’ve met real life friends through Instagram, people who have become dear to me; it’s just that social media is a monster that is never satiated. The more I go online, the more I feel I must have something interesting to say, or show, or comment or… the anxiety never stops with being on 24/7.
And what about real connection? Not just, I saw you doing this on ______________, but a text or call saying, What’s really going on? How are you?
I’ve been less online and my heart rate is almost at normal. Sure I miss seeing certain people’s posts and wonder what I’m missing. But the wonder at missing is far outweighed by interior peace. God is inviting me to literally be still. To push against the insane pressure I put on myself to keep up and be present online; to grow fat and juicy. I continue coming back to a still small voice inside asking, Can we do this different?
Can connection and discipleship and relationship happen via word of mouth and face-to-face and across a phone or Google Chat session? Is social media necessary to be known?
There’s beauty to balance. Post then be present. Share to inspire; not intimidate. Encourage through whatever it is you do online, without finding your identity there. I’m navigating what balance looks like.
We know these goals. Yet, if we’re honest, do we feel the pressure to be online all the time? Because time is money people. A well known influencer shared about her email list going from a few thousand to almost 20,000 when she started doing live videos. Amazing right? The thing is, when is she able to stop? If she stops, people will leave. They’ll move on to the next person doing live videos, their lives constantly available to anyone. Is there an end?
Do we still matter if no one knows?
And bam, there it is. The deeper question.
If I’m not on social media, am I known?
I mean if I don’t post pictures of this delicious meal, or my kids playing, or a pile of reading materials on my nightstand, no one will know whats happening in my life.
I’m finding that’s okay.
There’s beauty in tucking days and experiences and conversations and friendships close without blaring them with photos or real time action occuring every half hour.
“I wish I could get off social media.”
I hear this from fellow authors, friends, artists, business entrepreneurs, leaders in church. “I wish I could turn all of it off.”
So, why don’t we?
Do we trust God is bigger than a platform or a following or approval from “all the people out there” as we build a wider gap between “us” and “them” making a pedestal that is now alarmingly high?
What if instead, we imagine a pasture? An equal spacious field to share and walk alongside? A pasture helps me breathe easier. A pasture doesn’t feel exhausting to maintain or keep up.
I’m not ready for more online-ness. I’m heading into a season of writing and leading and speaking and I hear God whispering, Just be.
Just be still.
Let my voice be the only one you hear for now.
Fill. Heal. Rest.
Give yourself permission to not be on.
You’re still interesting if no one sees your day-to-day.
Do you trust that?
Do you trust me?
Do you trust I’m bigger than a following or device or the pressure to create content and share?
For now, I’m staying here. In this safe pasture where I can share my heartbeats in the form of this blog. To write and process and connect.
To chill out and fill up.
And hang out with CS Lewis.
What about you? What does your soul need in this season? What would it look like to offer yourself permission to be? To not spend brain space taking the ideal picture but capturing details with your eyes, private to only you and the people shared with? How do you balance time online with time being present to your real life? I wonder if there are more people asking similar questions to ours.