I was on the hunt for a white v-neck t-shirt yesterday (I know, I’m crazy fashionable), and on my way to the Gap I had the privilege of passing by the Apple Store. Holy Black Friday on a random Saturday. I guess since the iPhone 6 has been released everyone on planet earth decided their “old” phone was totally worthless and formed a line. And since the store (which was packed to the point of questionably safe) was allowing entrance at a “one in one out” basis to acquire these little treasures; the anticipation was palpable. I thought about conducting a social experiment and casually positioning myself at the front of the line, but then decided I’d like to leave with my life and a shred of dignity.
And though I laugh, I must be honest – I love and adore my iPhone. I do. I love using the super convenient flashlight to check my kid’s throat when I think they might be coming down with something; and I love taking 563 pictures of my family as we trudge through the pumpkin patch, or have a dance party. It’s awesome that I can post on Facebook from the convenience of anywhere I could possibly be at a given moment. And my ability to arrive anywhere HINGES on the maps, routing capabilities and audible directions. We use our phones for so much it’s insane. But like anything that great, that powerful, it’s frightening how easily it can be abused.
Enter key word: boundaries.
Let’s focus on the obvious target: social media in general has been a hot topic for years. It’s remarkable, how globalization and connectivity have been impacted in our world since the arrival of social platforms. Remarkable. I now find it noteworthy that my generation is the first to have Facebook readily available as we are reproducing. Our kids are the first generation to literally grow up publicly on various social media platforms. This is new water to wade through my friends. Our parents can’t give us advice from personal experience on social media management and parenting because it didn’t exist when they were taking naked bathtub pictures on gargantuan cameras with kodak film. As guardians of our children’s hearts and minds, we must tread carefully; exercising wisdom and intentionality in these engagements. Because the reality is that what we offer status updates and public posts about will communicate more to our kidlets than the kind of day we had; it contributes to their belief about our value of their privacy. It affects our trustworthiness, and their security. And when my boys are navigating the treacherous waters of adolescence, I want them to feel safe in this home. I want them to rest with unshakable trust in me when they offer their words and reveal their great moments and gut-wrenching ones. My goal is that when my kids get the chance to pour through my publicly available thoughts, they feel that I represented them with respect, love and maintained their dignity. Dignity should not be lost for the sake of transparency; especially for someone you were charged to protect. I want some things to be treasured by just us. I want some of the sweet moments to stay in the depths of my heart, allow for some “inside jokes,” and generally keep the journey into maturity a safe experience in our home. There are some words no one else deserves to hear, and some of life that is meant to be done with whispers and not shouts, personal memories as opposed to public announcements.
I am reminded of a passage that has always stood out to me as a mom…
“When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” — Luke 2:17-19
Clearly God did not need Facebook to spread the word about Jesus’s birth; he had a host of angels and some shepherds. Truthfully? I am so sad that Mary did not have a smart phone. I bet she would have LOVED snapping pictures of her precious child to look at whenever she wanted to pull up a memory. I can just imagine her posts: “Oh. My. Jesus turned water into wine today you guys! Wine!” But there’s also part of me that aches for the simplicity and the reverence around moments that were not viral. She was not scrambling for her smartphone when her baby yawned or smiled for the first time. Can you even fathom the precious gift she was given? She watched her savior sleeping in still moments no one else has memory of. She did not interrupt sweetness, but drank it in and treasured the moments and pondered them. She pulled from the storage of her heart; not the “cloud.”
So will I post about my life and my family? Yep. I adore showing them off! I mean, my kids are seriously the cutest toddlers on planet earth! Don’t misunderstand me, I’m just attempting to do so gracefully, with discernment; and I want this for our generation. Let’s show our friends the publicly appropriate life-giving status updates, and make it a point to treasure up some things to ponder in our hearts.