I love social media. It's probably one of my favourite things. I have an account on almost every social media site, and my personal favourite is Instagram. I spend more time collectively on social media in one day than I do on homework in a week. It's actually pretty bad.
One day, I was in the car with a friend after institute. I was showing her some photos on Instagram. I was showing her my account, others accounts, and I was showing her how many followers I was slowly gaining. I was so excited because I love talking about social media. That's when she asked me the question... One that I will never forget: "why do you like this so much? why do you spend so much time worrying about this?"
I was floored. Honestly, I was. I had never thought about it. Why is it that I love social media so much? Why is it that I spend so much time looking and posting on social media? I didn't know how to answer her. I ended up telling her that I liked the anonymity. I liked getting to share the good parts of my life with others and not the bad. I told her that I like the fact that this gives people the chance to see me and who I am, but none of the negative parts of me; I am able to hide the things that I don't want others to see.
Of course she thought I was crazy, and said that was kind of a ridiculous reason. But it was my reason. It really didn't make sense to me either, but then I heard a story at the most recent General Women's Session. This talk was given by Jean B. Bingham of the General Primary Presidency. She shared a story that actually meant a lot to me. The story is as follows:
|Retrieved from lds.org|
"One day the girl was given permission to ride her bike across the valley. She eagerly rode until she reached the house with the golden windows that she had admired for so long. But when she dismounted from her bike, she saw that the house was abandoned and dilapidated, with tall weeds in the yard and windows that were plain and dirty. Sadly, the girl turned her face toward home. To her surprise, she saw a house with shining, golden windows on the hill across the valley and soon realized it was her very own home!”
Just over a year ago, I moved back home to change schools. When I moved back, I started going to the Young Single Adult ward. This was actually a really big decision for me. I was supposed to start going to a YSA ward 4 years before this point. I avoided it for a long time. But I felt that it was the right time to finally start going. As time went on, I found myself getting more and more anxious and depressed. I wasn't sure why until I was in a group of people talking and someone started mentioning other people in the ward and how incredible and beautiful they were. That's when I realized that in the process of a year, I had started comparing myself to other people. I had reverted back to a place where I thought I had moved away from. I became uncomfortable with myself and began to look at what others had wondering why I couldn’t have it.
It was when Sister Bingham finished her story that I fully understood what was happening. She stated: "Sometimes, like this young girl, we look at what others might have or be and feel we are less in comparison. We become focused on the Pinterest or Instagram versions of life or caught up in our school’s or workplace’s preoccupation with competition. However, when we take a moment to “count [our] many blessings,” we see with a truer perspective and recognize the goodness of God to all of His children."
I have been using social media to feed my obsession of comparing myself with others. I have been using it in hopes that I would come out on top. Allowing social media to come into my life this way, has made me a different person. I have become obsessed with creating this version of my life so that other people, people that I have never met and never will, would like me. I have become preoccupied with it. My need to be liked and feeling so insecure with myself, has made social media something I spend too much time focusing on.
Just like Sister Bingham said, I need to count my many blessings. I need to stop comparing myself to others. My Heavenly Father loves me, and that should be enough for me. The only opinion that matters is the Lord’s opinion. As long as I continue to work my hardest to return to live with him, that is all I need to be doing. If others can’t take me as I am, well then that’s their problem isn’t it? If the Lord believes in me, has hope in me, and loves me, that should be all that matters.
Me being more comfortable with myself and focusing less on social media will take some time. I am not going to wake up in the morning and be confident with myself. It is going to be a process. But I will just keep taking those baby steps.
General Conference was this past weekend and there were so many wonderful messages related to this. It was really what I needed to hear. I am definitely going to be reviewing all of the wonderful things that were said.
I hope you all know how much the lord loves you. If you ever feel that you are not good enough, just know that you are. He is always there to support you. It may be hard, but in the end, it will all be worth it. After all, our trials are only a blink in time.
Watch the talk given by Sister Bingham here:
Or Read by following the link to lds.org