Did you know that the average person has five social media accounts, and spends at least 1 hour and 40 minutes on social media in ONE day?
Did you also know that the average person spends 5 hours on their phone in ONE day?
C R A Z Y, right?!? And hey, I am just as guilty, if not more, than the next person. As I reflected back on 2017, I realized that this has been a source of sadness and anxiety for me. You know what I mean. Like:
Why didn't they text me back?
I feel like that photo should have gotten more likes.
Did I save the streak?
Why did they lose the streak?
Why did they read that and not reply?
Did they not get my message?
Should I share this on Facebook?
Is this funny enough?What would people think about that?
How does this edit look?
Got any funny caption ideas?
Did I put too much on my story?
Why does their life look so much better than mine?
Now, you may not ask yourself all these questions, but these are thoughts I found myself thinking over the last year. Don't get me wrong, I am also a fan of social media, but it comes with such pressure. I also believe it can be unhealthy to the point where it changes a person. Several of my friends have recommended over the course of the year that I should try and spend less time on social media , and eventually my phone, but I was too stubborn to listen. You have to keep the followers happy, right? False. You need to keep yourself happy. Obsessing over posts and pictures can lead you down the wrong path.
For me, spending less time on social media is a resolution for 2018 that is on the top of my list. I have other goals on my list, like spending more time in the word and pray, reading more for fun, and exercising more. I realized that if I cut back on social media, I would have time to properly do these things. I have already read two books this month!! Don't get me wrong, removing myself from the constant barrage of social media has also been inconvenient, but it is so worth it for me. I gave up Facebook (although, I will still be sharing this on there for people to read). And. I have also done away with Snapchat (I still have been keeping my streaks because I am loyal and may get back on there one day so I want to keep them up... lol pointless-seeming I know...but it was a big investment for me to just throw away). The only site I really use and check now is Instagram. I know what some of you are thinking, but it is my favorite one and I wanted to be connected somehow. Even this slightest change has already made me feel so much better and it has only been a little over a week for me!
The Chainsmokers recently released a song called "Sick Boy." Not my all-time favorite, but one verse stood out to me: "how many likes is my life worth?" it questions. This is the issue with social media nowadays. Everyone's lives are devoted to social media and if they don't have it, nobody would be known. Their lives would fade away. At least, that is what we think. People aren't living just to live anymore. They live for the likes they will get when they post about it. They live for the Snapchats they can get to make it look like they are having fun. They live for the funny things they can post about on Facebook or Twitter. They make fake and staged poses, take 10,000 pictures in order to get one perfect one and end up editing the life out of it. People are posing for "candid" pictures nowadays. Excuse me, but doesn't the word "candid" mean you don't pose for them?
I am so guilty of living for other people and not living for myself, but I can promise you that is going to change this year and it starts with taking some time away from the root of the problem. Even giving up a few accounts makes a difference, I swear. I mean you know it is bad when you are trying to take multiple pictures because you need one for the Instagram story and one for the Snapchat story, but they have to be equally as good. Enough is enough. Live in the moment. Don't let people, or "likes", define your happiness. Your life is worth more than all the likes in the world...that is a proven fact I am thankful for.
Southern and Thankful
I sat at home this morning, laying on my couch, watching out the windows as a gloomy day passed in Arkansas. A little rain here and there, colder weather, and lots of fog... Honestly my favorite type of day to stay inside! The house was quiet, as everyone was either at school or work- perks of being a college student on Winter break. I was reading a book, but I could not take my eyes off of the fog. As the day went on, the fog really set in. It was not only strangely dark and pretty, but oddly very peaceful.
Naturally, it got me to thinking... lately, our little town has lost several people to sickness and cancer. I had lunch with a friend yesterday and we dicussed the sadness that brings to a small town, whether you are directly affected, or not. As I was studying the fog, and thinking/praying, a thought suddenly came to mind. We are often faced with a fog in front of us. Maybe physically it's not there, but mentally, we do not know what the future holds- it is clouded by fog. As you all who follow me know, I have become even more aware of how important it is that I trust in the plan God has for me, even though because of "fog", I don't always know exactly what that looks like. We can all overthink too much, playing out in our heads what will happen, but no one knows except for God because He is on the other side of that fog, guiding us through. Somedays the fog is thicker, some days, very faint; but, still present. Regardless, it is there distracting us, obscuring our vision.
With the fog this morning, I knew what was beyond it. The homes and trees of course, because I have seen the world outside my house in full color and clarity. I believe the only way to see through the "fog" and uncertainty we face in every day life is to trust in God. Having faith in Him is the only way for us to truly be okay with the fog.
I can think back to times in my life where I was attempting to navigate through the thick fog all alone and of course, I failed miserably. Life is too short and too fragile to waste it wondering and worrying what lies beyond or within the fog. Just like the fog, life is mysterious, dark, light, and full of potential. Often in fog, our vision is clouded making our decisions clouded. The fog hides the truth from us and let's be honest, the longer we hide in the fog the worse things get.
I encourage you to find your light. For me, that is Christ. Use whatever or whoever you choose to help you walk in the light- to live in the light. The fog is breathtaking, but at the end of the day, we all thrive from a little light. Love your neighbor, hold on to your friends, and cherish the time you have walking in the light because the longer the fog sticks around, the easier it becomes to get lost.
1 Corinthians 13:12
"We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!"
Southern and Thankful
Last week, I was wandering around a party supply store anxiously preparing for a New Year's Eve party with my sweet sister, Madison. For many years we have celebrated the New Year in Hot Springs, Arkansas. As we have grown up, Madison and I have enjoyed making sure we have proper decorations to make the celebrations even that much more fun. We especially love the giant number balloons that are so IN right now...I mean, they even have their own Snapchat and Instagram filters during the holidays. Anyway, as I walked around the shop and looked at all the different decorations, I thought how fun it would be to be in that business, right?
Confetti, balloons, streamers, noisemakers, hats, and more!
I could not take my eyes off of this giant ball of ribbon. I am assuming it is used for something related to balloons. But, being the OCD individual I am, I was freaked out at how easily it looked like the whole thing could fall apart at just any minute. All someone would have to do is pull the ribbon the wrong way and BOOM they would have it all over the place. What a mess that would be!
We finished our shopping and stuffed the balloons in the car. I moved on from the near disaster they had on their hands at the store with that ribbon, but later that night as I was laying in bed, my mind wondered back to that giant ball of ribbon. I am serious, thinking about it made me cringe a little. I realized that I have more in common with that big ball of beautiful ribbon than I would like to admit.
You see that ribbon was sitting there perfectly fine. The workers were using it as normal. They were surely used to it! But if someone wanted to make a mess of it, they easily could. That ribbon was holding itself together. It didn't need to be bothered, but if it was in the slightest, it could really start to unravel.
Now, you may think I am silly comparing myself to a ball of ribbon, but I had this oddly accurate realization that I could relate to this ribbon. You see over the past year it has been easy for me to hold it all together, or atleast make it look like I had it all together. Appearances are no problem! There were very few things that could cause me to outwardly unravel, but when would I think about the things that were bothering me, and dwell on them, that is when I would completely fall apart, just like this ribbon would if someone started pulling on it.
For me, I could see areas and instances in my life where certain things or thoughts of certain people would cause me nothing but negativity in my head. And, that is exactly what the devil was trying, and still tries, to do. He knows what makes us weak. He knows our pressure points and he wants to push on those until we completely cannot take it anymore. In my life, it is always focusing on others approval or disapproval of me. He so enjoys putting those negative thoughts in my head... making me overthink. It always gets to me. But I will say that seeing this ball of ribbon in this little party shop taught me something pretty cool. Seeing something for what it is, like the devil trying to pull me apart just perfectly by nagging on something so sensitive makes it that much easier to fight him and not let him win.
A lot of life is fighting against whatever or whoever (in my case the Devil) you believe is trying to bring you down. These days I am doing everything I can to fight against him and rely on God to help me always see the positive. Seeing what I am fighting against, in a party shop of all places, gave me a good start to 2018!
I want to thank all of you who have encouraged and said such kind things to me about my blog post the other day. It really made me feel good to share what 2017 was like for me, but also receiving such wonderful support warmed my heart. I hope everyone is off to a great start in this new year AND I hope you will not let someone or something pull on a part of your ribbon that breaks you down! You are beautiful, full, and just as complex as that shiny ribbon....no need to let anyone or thing mess you up. We have so much to be thankful for!
Southern and Thankful
Blessed is an understatement when it comes to my life. Each and every day I am amazed by God's steadfast love. In return, I have claimed this space to show my thanks and whatever else comes along the way. A student at Texas Christian University who loves any creative insta post, all donuts, and dress pants that make you do a double take. I pray God has a grand purpose for me and I plan to get there with a little Southern and a lot of Thanks! Join me!