You know about the airing of grievances, right? That thing they did on Seinfeld during Festivus where they sat around and loudly proclaimed all the things that bothered them. Sort of the opposite of Thanksgiving and meant to be humor and part of a show that was legitimately proud of being about…nothing.
I still don’t get it.
Anyway. Here’s the thing – I’m all about authenticity. It’s a passion of mine to encourage women to be confident in who they are in Christ, with all their passions, strengths, flaw, broken parts, and imperfections. I love when I see women stop pretending to be someone else and instead settle into the deep, comfortable rhythm of living life as themselves and not the edited version they want people to see online. I can’t tell you enough how much I want more “un-fine” in my life, how I want you to feel like you can have a bad day around me, and be okay when I’m not perfect either. I believe there is grace for all of those days – the beautiful and the broken and all the daily life in between.
But there is a distinct difference between being authentic online and airing your grievances and dirty laundry constantly. And I don’t want you to come here thinking I’m encouraging you to go off and share every little piece of your vulnerable heart online. I don’t. I don’t want that in real life for you and I don’t think it’s healthy at all online. But I’ve noticed this trend over the years, as I’ve become more involved in social media – it’s becoming acceptable to process and over share and be too open with too many people online because there is safety in sharing behind the screen.
And the reason I notice it? I’m the first to confess that I’ve done it. I’ve use my platform as a place to grumble, complain, process and I’ve been convicted to go on my knees before God to ask forgiveness for it. I believe strongly that social media can be used to glorify God. I also believe that in order to surround myself with the kind of women I want to be around online, I need to model that same behavior. Bottom line?
- It’s ok to feel upset. Feelings are fine. But you don’t have to post about it.
- If you feel envious of someone else, take that heart issue up with God, don’t share on Twitter.
- If you try to join something and it doesn’t meet your expectations, re-evaluate your expectations. Our “what’s in it for me” culture has made it acceptable to be disgruntled when we don’t feel like we got the biggest bang for our buck. Instead of reacting harshly (and forgetting there are hard working people – real people – behind the experiences you’re signing up for) think about how you could volunteer/promote/host/change to make it better next time.
- If you disagree with what someone says/does, pray about how God would have you address it before you comment publicly.
- If writing is how you process, great. But processing doesn’t mean publishing and private thoughts are perfectly fine.
Our goal online as sisters in Christ should never be to put someone else down to life ourselves up. Let’s live authentically as true sisters in Christ – loving one another the way Christ loved us and remembering that on the other side of the screen? On the other side of the tiny avatar, 140 characters and beautifully Instagramed photo is a real person, with real feelings, living a real life that we can’t possibly know all about.
So let’s choose to air grace instead of grievances and turn the internet into a place of encouragement.