I woke up before sunrise this past Mother's Day. The baby and I ate breakfast together while my husband tried to sleep off his latest chemotherapy treatment. There were no perfectly wrapped gifts, nor were there any fun plans to celebrate my first year as a mom. The only person who ate breakfast in bed was my husband, if Gatorade counts as breakfast. I was fine with this—at least until logging onto Facebook.
My newsfeed spilled forth updates and photos from excited mom friends. "Thankful for breakfast in bed!" they said. "I'm so blessed! Hubby got me an adorable necklace for Mother's Day!" Suddenly I felt sorry for myself. I'm certain there were many women—those who have lost mothers, those who have lost children—who felt the sting even more strongly.
I am, of course, the first to blame for these feelings of inadequacy. I am a sinner, so I struggle with comparing my life to others'. The obvious cure for my tendency to compare is to turn off Facebook and turn to Jesus.
But while I acknowledge it is my responsibility to check my attitude, every Christian needs to consider that what they share and how they share can affect people in their online communities.
One way Christians might re-think our posting habits is by evaluating our words. It has become socially acceptable to use online spaces to present the good, happy and tidy sides of our life. Sometimes we are upfront with our boasting, and other times we mask self-congratulatory sharing with a "humble brag."
Coined by Harris Wittels, author of Humblebrag: The Art of False Modesty, the "humble brag" is when someone brags about herself but avoids the social stigma against bragging by couching the announcement in false humility. Though making an appearance in face-to-face ...1
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