Originally I had this post titled “Grace Is Awkward, Part 1” but then realized I didn’t really get to that part of the story just yet, so I’ll preface with this: the next post that comes after this one goes hand in hand.
Despite how many followers you or I have on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook (I would include Snapchat, but I don’t have that. Do people “follow” you on there too?) there’s probably been a time in your social media existence when you noticed someone stopped interacting with you. Or maybe I’m too aware or hypersensitive? Maybe you noticed that they used to comment and never do anymore. Or perhaps they would “like” your photos, but their name never seems to appear in your notifications as of late.
Many people, especially bloggers, will use an app that allows them to see who unfollows them. I think they do this so that they can unfollow back. I think it’s just asking for hurt. I mean, how could it not sting just a little bit when you see that an old friend unfollowed you. My mind would race with thoughts. Did I post something that offended them? Am I annoying everyone? What did I do wrong? This strategy and that app is an absolute no-no for me. I don’t want to be that aware. I refuse to invite that kind of control and fear into my mind and heart. That being said, I’ve definitely noticed when someone who used to interact with me frequently completely stops. I’ve had those thoughts race through my mind.
E and I were chatting about this topic one day and a specific old girl friend of mine’s name came up. E said, “Maybe you didn’t offend her. Maybe you didn’t annoy her. Maybe you did nothing wrong. Maybe it isn’t about you. Maybe it’s something she’s going through or struggles with. Give her the benefit of the doubt. After all, it’s just social media anyway!”
THIS GUY. Y’all, He shows me life from an entirely different perspective and I love that about him. He then questioned me as to why I’ve hit the unfollow button countless times. I thought of so many reasons, some which had to do with me, or wanting to declutter my feed, or specifically if that person caused me to stumble. Rarely has it been because they offended or annoyed me. And even if it was because they annoyed me, unfollowing wasn’t intended to hurt them or make them change. In fact, I sure hope they wouldn’t even notice.
Causing you to stumble. This idea first came up for me when I was chatting with one of my best friends, Shaina. She told me she had to unfollow someone because their photos were always causing her to stumble. Every time she saw their photo pop up on Instagram she would instantly be filled with negative, judgmental thoughts. She decided that it would be better to eliminate that altogether by simply unfollowing this person. It doesn’t mean she loves them any less. In fact, she’s able to love them more authentically now.
Maybe that’s another downside to all of this technology. We’re SO connected that many issues we currently face were nonexistent ten years ago!
I’ve since hit the unfollow button when a specific person’s account repeatedly causes me to feel envious and covet what they have. I’ve began using a rule of thumb: if something doesn’t add value to my life, I’m getting rid of it. Talking about more than social media here, friends. So if you aren’t family or a friend, I probably won’t follow along anymore. That is, unless something you’re sharing truly inspires, encourages, or challenges me. This doesn’t come from a negative place, rather a place of growth.
In the very first chapter of Wild and Free Jess talks about how minimalism is very much back in style and relates the capsule wardrobe strategy to how we often stuff our lives with (too many) things we think we need to survive, but how those are sometimes the very things that weigh us down. That’s where I’m at. Unpacking so that I can run farther and faster with Jesus.
What could you unpack today so that you travel lighter?
Journal or think of at least 3 things (personality traits or literal items) that you need to pray about ridding your life of in order to live more freely!