It is time for our family to move, again. We are moving from the southwest to the east coast and far away from people we know and love.
And my heart is hurting.
I would rather hold my friend’s hand than hold my iPhone. I would rather smile into her face than at her profile picture on my iPhone screen. As the miles mount between us, I rely on pictures and words and “like” buttons to help me connect with the friends I am leaving.
Perhaps you can relate. Instead of words, we often communicate with one another through emojis now, which is all good and fun, for the most part. But communicating in this way may also lead us to think or say something like:
Why didn’t she hit “like” or “heart” or even comment? Doesn’t she care about me anymore? Maybe she is mad at me…
I am not liberal with my “likes” but I enjoy the pictures of your family so keep on posting them…
I just do not have time for Facebook right now, but someday I plan on logging back in so I can catch up on your news…
No wonder we equate loyalty with “likes.” Comradery with comments. And no wonder many of us feel unloved or unnoticed even though we spend hours “connecting” with others on social media.
I’ve been ministering to teen girls and women for over a decade now. I used to think the bathroom scale was our ugliest enemy. Now I am starting to think social media and its emojis is our newest one. We long for others to notice us. It makes us feel significant when others “like” or “love” our kids’ milestones, our vacation pictures, or our new home. We risk, post, and if our post’s “like” count is low, we hurt and assume no one cares about us.
Real Talk Time
I am saddened because many of you are hurting for this reason. I understand this and I sometimes feel the same way. I offer the following in love to all of us: loyalty has nothing to do with “likes.”
Emojis are not indicators of intimacy.
Remember the history, the memories, the other times your friend cared instead of commented. If she remains by your side, shows you love, forgiveness, keeps her promises to you, or shows up when you need her, than relax. Release her from “liking” every single thing you post. It is not fair to you or your friend. You are asking the impossible.
Resist the temptation to judge someone’s level of affection from a lack of their momentary affirmation.
Loyalty is not reflected in a “thumbs up” or in a “smiley face.” The only symbol that does reflect loyalty is a cross shaped one.
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
~Romans 5:6-8 NIV
The cross of Jesus Christ is the ultimate symbol of loyalty. It is THE indicator of intimacy. There is no greater love or no greater act of forgiveness that anyone could ever show toward us than this. Jesus showed up for you and for me long before we knew we needed Him. Jesus remains loyal to us still. So whenever you feel unloved or unnoticed, unplug from social media and think upon the cross.
Be encouraged, valued one. Loyalty has nothing to do with “likes.”