Notifications light up at the top of your page. A red number 4 on a darker blue circle on a blue background. In this moment, you are faced with a big decision. Click or don’t click.
Click, of course. If you don’t click, you don’t know. If you don’t know, you might be missing out on something. Yes! Two new people like your photo. One person likes your status. One person invited you to Farmville. (Guess which one of these four is going to get deleted from your friend list?)
You go to the photo they like. You like that they like the picture. Why not? It’s a pretty good picture of you. You deserve about seventeen more likes, but no big deal. Two works. Below that picture are three comments. One from a relative who says something nice, one from the rando you never talk to, and one from your snarky friend who makes you laugh with their brilliant flair of humor.
We like people to like us. And that’s what’s going on here anyway. Facebook world, where everybody is something of a celebrity, and we stay connected to everybody, even the people we don’t want to be connected to.
So how many times did you take that picture? The one with the three comments, two likes, and everything else. Every time I go on a road trip, there are a lot of pictures being taken. Usually, the girls take more than the guys. And usually the girls take multiple pictures to find the picture that goes on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or all three at once.
Has anyone else noticed that there are a lot of people who smile in almost all of their Facebook pictures, but they rarely smile in real life? My personal favorite is when girls smile for the camera, and immediately the smile is gone as they look to see how the picture went.
Which makes me wonder, “What are we smiling about?”
Are we smiling because we actually enjoy life? Or are we smiling because that’s what we want people to see?
This is life on edit. Why do we show people the pictures of us where we always look good? Is it because we are just incredibly good looking? Or is it because we want to present this to people? We want people to buy in that we never have double chins, crazy hair, or frustrated looks? Or is it because we want to project something that we’re not because we’re not completely sure who we are. At least I can get you to buy into this version of me.
Here’s the other factor: You can control what people know about you, but only if you keep them on the surface and at a distance.
I like being connected to people all over the world on Facebook and Twitter. I just think when I’m at the end of my life, I really won’t care too much how many times I got notifications for posting something cool, funny, brilliant, or beautiful online. No matter how many retweets I get, that won’t matter.
At the end of my life, or even in five years, I will care about how I lived my life. How I was giving love and feeling love, and letting love be what I was all about. So I’m in this process I’ll just refer to as Life On Edit. I got the idea from “A Million Miles in A Thousand Years” by Don Miller.
My goal is to create a great life, by living a great story. Part of this is letting people in to see the real me. Early in my life, I became an expert at keeping people on the surface and at a distance. The problem is that people are what God gave me to be around for life. So it really doesn’t make much sense for me to avoid true relationships that are honest and caring. Letting people into my life, so that we can create stories together, now that’s a much better idea to me. I like that one. Life doesn’t reward your intentions though, just your actions. So we have to edit what we do. If we want something different, we have to do something different. This is what I mean by Life On Edit. I can edit my life for the purpose of real relationships and great adventures. Editing my life for more notifications on a page online? That is a project that is not worthy of my life. Or yours. We deserve much more than that. We deserve a great life full of love, joy, and passion. Adventure is calling, a great story is waiting. Live it.
(Don’t cancel everything I just said for what I’m about to say.)
On another note,
I keep listening to “Call Me Maybe.” Carly Rae, congrats! I know you won’t read this because you have no idea who I am, but you got my friends and me hooked on this song.
“Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, but here’s my number, so call me maybe.”