I realized something icky about myself the other day. Far too often I measure my self-worth by a number on a screen.
It hit me that no matter how many followers I have, no matter how much traffic my blog gets, no matter what circles I nudge my way into, I will never feel like I’ve “made it.”
If I measure my worth by likes, follows, and pageviews, I will never be enough.
But that’s the lie, isn’t it?
When I hit this number, I will feel validated. When I am invited on this trip, I will feel worthy. When I am followed by this person, I will feel like I’ve made it.
Ugh, what a load of crap. This is never going to happen.
Because as soon as I hit that number, a new number is going to pop up in my mythical mindset. As soon as I am invited on a trip, I will compare myself to those around me and feel like I don’t measure up. (And by the way, why wasn’t I invited on THAT trip?)
Social media has warped our sense of worth in a way that was never possible before. When I was in high school, I compared myself to a handful of popular kids. When I was in college there were maybe a few people who intimidated me.
These days? There is an endless virtual sea of people to compare myself with. I am followed and unfollowed, liked and ignored, multiple times a day by thousands of people. And if I let this reality define my self worth I will be nothing more than a puddle on the floor.
Did you know there is an app that will tell you when you are unfollowed and by whom? Seriously, who willingly signs up for something like that?
We have to constantly remind ourselves that this is not what matters.
(And hello, I follow and unfollow people all the time. We weren’t all meant to follow each other.)
You and I were made with gifts and talents and beautiful things to share with this world. We are unique creations put in this place at this time for a reason. And when we compare ourselves to others, we miss out on what we were made for. We miss out on our true purpose in this life.
Also, it’s hard to do something good for the world when you’re focused so much on yourself.
Maybe you were meant to influence a small circle of people. Those people need you.
Maybe you were put here to pour into the tiny people tugging on your shirtsleeve. They need you.
Maybe you were designed to stand on a stage in front of thousands to preach or teach or sing. (Not me. Definitely not me.)
Whatever you were made for, don’t miss it because you are constantly turning to the right and to the left. Keep your head up. Keep your eyes locked in to what matters. Pour into things that last.
Don’t let your social standing, or your social media standing, get in the way of who you were meant to be.
Thank you so much for this… and I should re-read it monthly/ daily, etc. I already wrestle with this, but as a non-traditional dietetics student hoping to have a private practice before I qualify for social security, I know that online presence is important. Right now it’s just an ongoing struggle between time for school and time for social media. But I know I will get sucked into the numbers/ who’s in, who’s out, game so fast. Love your thoughts here.
Thank you Sarah, it’s easy to get sucked in. Having an awareness is key, that way you can pull back when you need to.
wise words x
THANK YOU!!! And you are so right: As likes and followers increase, the “magic number” just increases too. I call it a hamster wheel–spinning and spinning endlessly, never getting to the destination. I also love your reminder that it doesn’t matter how many people you are positively impacting–whether it’s 50 people on Facebook or your kids. The important thing is to focus on making a positive impact somehow in the world and in somebody’s life.
I’m taking a break from facebook and twitter. It was becoming a bit of a chore or a feeling of obligation to go on there. As well, I was experiencing information overload. How much news in general & news from family, friends & relatives do I really need every day. So I’m taking a step back & focusing on my immediate family in the real world.
Love it. And ouch, I totally have signed up for the apps that tell me who stopped following me…but you’re so right, we weren’t meant to follow one another. Love the way God just smacked me with that truth!
So well said. I am glad I found this via that Boston Parent bloggers group. I have not stopped by your blog in ages. I’ll make it a point to stop by more often. I’ll be quoting you for sure!
[…] are prettier! they have more followers! don’t we all do this??) which I know needs to stop. InspiredRD wrote a great post about this yesterday about being careful not to measure our self worth by […]
I could not agree more. It can be so difficult to really feel like we’ve “made it” or “measure up” and I think it’s important to remember that none of it matters. It’s all arbitrary numerical value anyway and doesn’t reflect on us really in any way that actually matters when it comes to self-worth. I think we’re all guilty of the comparison game and all that comes with blogging, but I try not to get wrapped up in it because I realize that at the end of the day, I’m connecting with great people and building a fun community that’s based on real personal connection rather than the numbers. thanks for this post!
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Alysa, thank you for your post. I read Sarah Markley’s post about FOMO and then your comment, subsequently your post. Well done. That totally resonates with me. So true, hard to keep running for what God wants me to do and to stay focused when I’m constantly desiring the next ‘hit’ of dopamine rush checking my social media ‘likes’. I gave up Instagram for Lent and have taken my FB app off my phone ( the user experience of going through the web is not fun)!! I’m trying to break the habit of checking my social media with prayer. Much more rewarding.
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Oh man! When I first started to blog I used to LIVE BY THE NUMBERS!!!!!!!!! Then I remember one day I told myself, NOPE. STOP looking at numbers. Why do you blog? You blog because it’s fun and you love to meet new people and hopefully entertain them… NUMBERS ARE NOT IMPORTANT – and I am not a numbers person at all – I AM A WORDS person! So yep, I stopped looking at the numbers and you want to know what? My traffic quadrupled because I spent far more time constructing entertaining videos and blog posts!!!!! 🙂
I definitely agree and have written similar things in the past. I have to worry about creating a helpful message and not compromise that based on what I think will draw more readers. Thanks for the post; it’s always a great reminder!
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