I am Not a Slave to Social Media

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(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.

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(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.

Ecclesiastes 1:2

“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.

 

Exhibit A.

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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.

 

Day 1: Introduce, recent picture of yourself, 15 interesting facts

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Hello essentially the world, my name is Nina.  I am eighteen years old and currently a lower sophomore in college.  I started this blog because I love to write and hope that maybe some of my ramblings may be of interest to you!  I’ve always kind of worried about that.  I mean, who really cares if I start a blog about my life?  What does what I have to say differ from the person next to me?  Well maybe I don’t really have any interesting to say, but I like writing this blog, maybe even just for myself.

The picture above was taken almost 2 weeks ago during Basileia, a conference held by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.  I’m actually really excited about this 30 day challenge because I’m not usually good at these kind of things.  I can do the first 5 days without hesitation and then day 6 hits and I want to finish.  But not this time, I’m doing it until day 30!   Now, I will tell you 15 interesting facts about myself:

1.  I haven’t always been like this.

By this I mean the fact that I’ve finally come to a place in my life where I am happy with who I am and before this point, I was really just struggling to figure out who I actually am.  Now I know most people won’t like me, but I’m okay with this.  And more than anything I just want to be happy and make the people around me happy.

2.  I am addicted to social media. 

I don’t mean this lightly, I am actually addicted and working on not being AS addicted.  I have the need to check my Facebook at least once per day and have the need to press like on everything.

3.  I’m very good at traveling long distances.

I can go on a six hour bus ride without any problem and can handle 13 hours with the right preparation.  I’m really just used to this because I would have to get used to long rides when going from America to my family in India.  13 hours with a 2 hour transfer is no joke!

4.  I’ll make the effort in a friendship, but only for so long.

I’m the type of person to send the first text, but if you don’t respond to that, then it’s all on you.  I won’t send you a text again… that is except if you’re in my prayer group.  In which case I will send you texts every week, twice a week, until the end of the semester.

5.  I like smiling at strangers…and need to stop doing it! 

I have the need to smile at people and this includes people I don’t even know!  I’ll catch myself doing this and force myself to stop smiling.  I just feel like smiles brighten people’s days and forget that some people may find me creepy…or take me smiling the wrong way.

6.  I really love public speaking, when I don’t hate it.

I don’t know any other way to put it, I just love public speaking!  There’s this adrenaline rush of going on stage and I love being able to communicate my ideas.  But I hate the feeling right before speaking a crowd, the butterflies are enough to make me want to run away.

7.  If there’s one reason why I smile, it’s because of God.

I don’t even know how to begin to explain this without giving enough credit to God…maybe I’ll explain this more in the future.

8.  I’m a social media intern for Kevin Davis Productions (back to social media..)

It’s really crazy how I even got this opportunity, I’ll be writing more about this Thursday.

9.  I love taking pictures. 

I love being in pictures with my friends and making dorky faces.  I love seeing bad pictures of myself and especially love good pictures.

10.  I love taking pictures. 

I love taking pictures of people, places and things.  I especially love when I can make something look really artsy and pretty.

11.  I used to be addicted to “Animal Crossing” on my DSi. 

It was really so sad.  I would walk around and talk to animals all day and collect things off of the beach shore to sell to “Tom Nook”.  Super Mario brothers was a fun but I really sucked at it.  And I never could reach the elite four in Pokemon.

12.   I have enormously large feet.

It’s true.  This has always been the case and shoes ALWAYS break on me.  Hey, at least I have an excuse to go shopping?

13.  I’ve never had braces.

THANK THE LORD!  But I have been really jealous of people with braces in the past though.

14.  India is my favorite place in the world.

My family is there and I love my family more than I can really explain.  It makes me feel at home and everything just feels nicer.  I’ll always enjoy America more though.  It’s were the other half of my family is and everything else I love and care about is.

15.  I love to sing. 

I love singing so much and I’m not really good at it, but who says I have to be?  I sing for fun and to praise my savior.

So that is all for Day 1, I hope you enjoyed my random ramblings!  See you tomorrow!

Nina Thomas

Ask Nina-39/365

How are all of you guys doing? I’m going to be having a few posts about [GOOD ONES] in a little bit so get pumped.  I would say who asked me this question, but I don’t know who.  It was actually given to me through a Formspring question, which either means whoever asked it was yanking my chain or sincerely wanted an answer.  Regardless of what the reason for the question is, I’ll answer it.  Because, I have only done 2 Ask Nina posts this far.

this world was created in the basis of a philosophy called equivalent exchange.  this philosophy states to obtain something of equal value must be most.  then tell me why i”ve lost everything and gained nothing that does not seem just in gods eye does it?

In all honesty, this is the FIRST time I ever even heard about a philosophy called equivalent exchange, but I did some google-ing to learn about it.  I could really only find 2 different web sites with SOMETHING about it, and they said pretty much the same thing that you did [noted one website was urban dictionary].

It then suddenly came to me, the problem with your question was that you had made an assumption.  Your assumption was that the world was created on this philosophy, when in actuality, its not.

I assumed you were Christian because at the very end of your statement you said “…then tell me why i”ve lost everything and gained nothing that does not seem just in gods eye does it?” So I’m going to turn you to the story of a man named Job.

I would tell you it right now, but in all honesty there are so many resources that you can find to learn about it [that is if you don’t already know], I can retell it if you REALLY want me to, but I have to get some sleep tonight so I’m going to try to answer this fast.

Basically what you need to learn from the story of Job is the fact that this theory is false.  Just because you give away 5 pennies, doesn’t mean you’ll get 5 pennies back.  In fact you may give 5 pennies and lose all of them, or you may give 5 pennies and get TEN back!

I’m sorry that you feel as though you’ve lost everything, and I’m guessing based on the fact that you believe in a theory that states you get back as much as you give, that you initially gave something.  But if it makes you feel better I’m sure you haven’t lost EVERYTHING.  You gave me a question and not only did I respond, I actually REALLY TRIED to answer it as best as I could.  I believe that our lives are only meaningful if we are truly happy.

I can’t promise you that if you pay 1 dollar for a lottery ticket, you’ll win the jackpot.  Or that if you pay 5 dollars for your metro card, it’ll always let you in on the first swipe [i hate when it does that to me!], or that you can pour your heart into something it will succeed.  BUT what I can promise you, is that you if you pray and earnestly seek God, he will answer you.

See you tomorrow,

Nina