(I’d like to preface by saying that not all social media is bad and that I’m not against it in any shape or form. It can all just get extremely tiring.)
I found a journal from the beginning of my college years and was astonished to see that many of my concerns circled around social media. Worrying about why I was worried (I know, right?) about the number of likes I would get on pictures or statuses or whatever else I would post. I remember gently calming myself and telling undergraduate Nina that there was more to life the the number of likes on my page, or lack there of.
Now, as a graduate student I reflect on my life and my presence on social media and the first feeling that surfaces is utmost disgust.
(Yes, my friend and I really did make a ranking of the tiers of friendship, so insightful, I know.)
I’m reminded of my tendencies to talk way too much in class discussions and how I would mentally remind myself not to volunteer my opinions for a particular question. I am overwhelmed with the presence of myself everywhere I look. Selfies on my instagram, pictures on my blog, snapchats and the list goes on. There will be no question years from now what Nina looked like. No mystery in my life. No private moments that just I experienced. So much so that just as I long to remain silent during certain lectures, I now need to see less of myself all over my social media.
I turn to scriptures are feel ashamed of my vanity, realizing how sparse my time really is.
“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.”
Then I think about all of my fashion posts, which I do love and enjoy posting. But at some point I grow tired of assembling my tripod and fixing my makeup to pose for a couple of pictures for my blog. I think about how fake I am at times and how I attempt to lie through social media.
What does it look like I was thinking before taking this picture?
I remember this picture distinctly because before taking it I felt so ugly. I felt unattractive so I took a picture as digital proof that I could be pretty. But somehow looking at this picture always does just the opposite. I look at this photo and I acknowledge a lie I tried to tell myself and my instagram followers, “I feel good and confident, let me add this filter right here that highlights my features just right”
I look at 1 Peter 3:3-4 and read, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” I think of my extensive collection of Indian attire, my mother’s skill at wrapping a sari and arsenal of makeup products. But am beautiful inside? Am I gentle and quiet and really of significant worth before the Lord?
Every minute, I age and there will be a time when my hair isn’t as dark black and my skin won’t be as firm and my legs as strong. But as I think on the fragility of my life and how easily it can be taken, I look to 2 Corinthians 4:16 which reads, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”
Everyday I am decaying, growing weaker and smaller but my spirit grows stronger day by day.