My Instagram Life

My Instagram Life

My life looks pretty great. Strike that. My digital life looks pretty great. I hate to admit it, but I can make it seem like I’m a pretty big deal 😉 A few snazzy Facebook posts, 140 well-thought characters for a tweet, and an artfully taken photo on Instagram and things are looking pretty good…

In today’s social media saturated world, we can hide behind who we want to be, instead of being honest about who we really are.

From Flickr by Susanne Nilsson

I started to think more in depth about this a few weeks ago as I was catching up with a friend. I knew I could easily “wow” her with my exploits as a freelance writer and photographer (ohh, ahh) just as she could make her life abroad sound like a dream come true, but we know each other much too well for that. Our honesty was refreshing. We shared the hard parts, the trails, the discouragements as well as the good stuff. It was real. It was refreshing.

Why aren’t we enough?

I took a lot away from that conversation. One of the main questions I asked myself was, Why do I want to appear cooler than I really am? I know, it’s kind of a silly question, but it’s true. What is it in me–and in our world today–that requires we look good for those looking into our lives. The simple answer is that no one want’s to look bad or unaccomplished to others. I think it goes deeper than that.

We’re hiding. Hiding from ourselves. From others. Sometimes even from God. We don’t want to admit that we’re broken, because then that means we need fixing. And my, oh my, do we need fixing. It’s a scary thing to admit that to anyone, let alone your ten…hundred…thousand followers. Not that I think you should, but should you be illuminating just the good parts and putting up a false picture of the real you?

I filter what I post on all social media. I think that’s wise, but I also think that can become dangerous. I can start to showcase what looks good, instead of what’s really going on. Filtering isn’t bad, but it needs to go both ways. I may not post the “ugly” stuff, but am I only posting the “pretty” stuff? Am I only being real when it shines a positive light on me? Now, granted, I don’t think the answer to this is to post angry/ranting/bitter/depressed things all the time either, but instead I think a new rule should apply:

Post with a purpose.

We have the opportunity to uplift others. To encourage. To share experiences (good and bad) with an eye toward what God has done in you, through them. I’m not saying it’s bad to post about inconsequential things, but is that all you post? Maybe you say, “But I have a business to represent.” I think the same rules apply. I run a photography business and, though I’m not always posting about my faith, it’s a big part of who I am and I enjoy getting to share that.


From Flickr by Alexandre Dulaunoy

Because social media is such a big part of our culture today, take some time to pray about this. Submit this to the Lord as you would other areas of your life. When we separate out parts of who we are from the Lord’s direction we start to compartmentalize our lives. Suddenly, something like Instagram becomes “our” thing and then devotions become “God’s” thing. Why not involve God in all aspects of your life? He want’s to step in and lovingly guide and direct you in and though it all.

Ask yourself these questions before you post:

  1. What’s the purpose of this post?
  2. Who am I uplifting in this post?
  3. Does this make me look cooler than I am?

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.

Romans 12:1-3


Cover photo from Flickr by Alexandre Dulaunoy

Emilie Hendryx About Emilie Hendryx

Emilie is a freelance writer, photographer, and graphic designer living in Northern California. She’s a member of ACFW and writes Young Adult fiction. In her spare time, you can find her designing fun bookish items for her Etsy and Society6 shops all while drinking too much coffee.
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