Oxford Dictionary recently crowned “selfie” as their Word of the Year in 2013...But what does it mean? Below is a definition from the most trusted news source, Urban Dictionary.
"A picture taken of yourself that is planned to be uploaded to Facebook or any other sort of social networking website. You can usually see the person’s arm holding out the camera in which case you can clearly tell that this person does not have any friends to take pictures of them so they resort to social media to find Internet friends and post pictures of themselves, taken by them. A selfie is usually accompanied by a kissy face or the individual looking in a direction that is not towards the camera."
I can't help but laugh at the definition! It is funny and true, right?! A big part of this generation's expression of themselves through social media is "selfie."
Why are so many people worried about being liked?
We all have “self” at the heart of man. Each of us did not go through a class as a child on how to demand our own way right?! We naturally begin to look out for the interest of ourselves before others.
The word “selfie” has a root word, “self.” We live in a performance driven world. We try to find ourselves in ways that are unhealthy. At the root of sin is SELF, aka pride.
Two ways a focus upon self leads us to find purpose:
1) Performance. For instance, the person feels they need to meet certain standards in order to feel good about themselves. They fear failure and are driven to succeed. They withdraw from risks and try to be perfect.
2) Approval Addict. They believe they must be accepted by certain people to feel good about themselves. If we only focus on people liking us, we lose sight of what God says about us. We can become “obsessed’ with selfies because of what others think about us.
For instance, we take a picture on Instagram and wait. Sometimes watching who is going to “like” or “comment” on the picture. We start to feel like we are not as important or liked as much as others based upon their Instagram feed! We take a SELFIE and are devastated when we don’t receive as many comments as someone else.
(Warning: Rant Ahead) Please stop taking pictures with a motivation to have people PRAISE you. By the way, God is the one who made you and I, not you. Don’t take credit for something God gave you!
Life is not about drawing attention to self, but denying self to follow Jesus. We are set free from self when we commit to Jesus. He begins the process of reconfiguring our identity and worth. We receive our approval and worth from God and not based upon what we do on our own strength.
If you struggle with this, I encourage you to be honest about it. Admit that you want God to change your focus of life from self and instead surrender self to Christ. Spend time in prayer asking God to change us from worrying about the approval of others and instead love God with our whole hearts.
In this selfie generation, we can teach them in relevant ways that life is not about SELF being glorified but about Jesus being glorified.
What would you add to the conversation? How do we communicate to this generation on self?