A few years ago, the internet was swirling with rumors that one of everyone’s favorite social media platforms was going to remove its “LIKE” function. No longer would people be able to click that little heart and show that they approve of your post and therefore transfer their worth to your personhood. Opinions on this decision were certainly mixed. No one wanted to admit that they craved the affirmation that came with that small yet powerful gesture.
What if that really happened? What if we could no longer collect “likes” on all the things we post to social media? Would we want to continue sharing our life with the world?
We almost can’t imagine a world without social media. We have added “social media speak” into our vernacular. We talk of “posts” and “likes” and “shares” and “snaps” with no further explanation of the new definition each of those words have taken on in the last 10-15 years. A whole generation of children now derives their self-worth from the performance of their social media persona.
We must set an example for this next generation who are addicted to likes. And it starts by convincing ourselves of some basic truths.
A “like” does not mean we are worthy.
At some point, we began believing that our self worth was determined by the number of likes we received on our family photos, our funny posts, or our children’s achievements. We began comparing ourselves to others whose “like counts” are always greater than ours. Why are they so much better than we are? Why are they more beautiful? Why are their houses cleaner? Why are their children better behaved? We compare the best they have to offer to all the worst we know of ourselves.
Remember: We are worthy because God says we are worthy.
We have been wonderfully and fearfully made. God loves us unconditionally and does not base His affection for us on anything we produce in this world.
A “like” does not add to our credibility.
So often we put ideas out into the social media world and then wait for people to respond. We wait for them to approve of us. We wait for them to affirm our thoughts and beliefs and opinions. When we don’t receive this approval, we think that maybe we are not credible. We are not believable and can’t be trusted. Sometimes we allow others to dictate our reliability, something which no one should be able to take away from us, ever.
Remember: We are credible because we work hard, are honest, and are trustworthy.
We put so much weight in the worth of online approval, but in reality, many people don’t even think about the things they “like” as they click through their social media feeds. They see something that catches their eye and they automatically click that button. It is not a well-thought-out plan. And we should not allow them to command our emotions.
A “like” does not last forever.
Well, technically, likes do cling to the post. But the feed in which the post appears goes away quickly and is replaced by the next, newest, up-to-date information. And so the “like” in which we tend to put so much worth is actually as fleeting as the flick of a thumb scrolling through a social media feed. If we can remember that the lack of “likes” will not affect us later today or tomorrow or next week or next year, our perspective will become much broader and our emotions will recover so much faster.
We must remember: We have enduring worth because of our relationships with an eternal God.
God’s view of us is lasting. It is what matters most. We must put our effort into knowing God, listening to Him, hearing from Him and glorifying Him in all that we do and say. These are the things that matter and that last.
If social media platforms removed their “like” functions, surely there would be some kind of public outcry. However, would the world be a better place? Would we be emotionally healthier? Perhaps. Until that time, we can maintain a better perspective by remembering what is true about us and our relationships with a never changing, everlasting, unconditionally loving God.