I have had a growing concern as a parent. I am not quite sure how to navigate my children in this new age of social media and the selfie age. Actually, I have no clue but I am praying and depending on God to help us through it.
It’s hard enough growing up with self-doubts, self-esteem issues, and just plain ole’ teenage hormones but now kids are front in center on a social media stage. Selfie pictures are shared and liked. Kids want to be recognized for accomplishments, who they are friends with, and even for that really cute outfit. Life just got a bit more complicated because now there’s an app for everything.
It’s not just kids though. Adults are guilty of over-doing the selfie thing, too. We are now living in the “look at me” era. Look at all the success in my life, look at my beautiful children, and look how many people follow me.
I feel guilty just writing this because I am an offender of the selfie age. I have an ancient I-phone 3 which doesn’t have a turn-around screen but I did try to take a selfie once. No correction, I took twenty selfie pictures but I deleted all but one because that was the only picture that I dared to post. It was how I wanted others to see me and so it made the cut.
Let’s face it. Who doesn’t like attention? It’s wonderful and in healthy doses it’s important to feel recognized and confident in your abilities. Confidence is a beautiful thing. Sometimes confidence gets confused with pride. I believe they are two different things. Pride tends to stem from insecurity. Confidence stems from love and a nurturing, safe environment.
So where does the selfie age fit into pride and confidence? I really don’t know. I am trying to figure it out but I do know that as a parent the most important thing is to build up my children in the confidence of my love for them and the love of God.
The love and confidence of God is the kind I feel when he sees all those other 19 selfie pics that I refuse to let others see. The ones that highlight my flaws or make me look ugly, fat, and bring out all my insecurities. Yes, Christ loves the 19 selfie pics that represent the flawed human being that I really am. I really didn’t need to post that one selfie to feel good about who I am because I already made the cut in God’s eyes. I was made in His image. No polished selfie will ever be able tell that simple truth to my heart.
So as I navigate this selfie age with my children, I pray that I try to live not pointing that camera at me but at Christ who lives in me.
I am not trying to preach against selfies or even social media. I am just trying to remind others, as well as myself, that no camera or social media app will ever be able to convince a single person of their worth. Only God can do that and it’s only through His eyes that my children will ever be able to find love and self-confidence. Anything other than that seems to lead to pride.
I just pray that as I raise my children in this over-stimulated visual age of “selfdom” that we won’t lose sight of the fact that it’s not what the eyes see, but what God speaks through our hearts which gives us true self-worth.