The online world is a funny thing. It allows us to put on a front, to pretend to be someone we’re not. To only share and gloat about the good things in life (“I just L<3VE Starbucks! My nails are all different colors! Had a great time at the movies tonight! I’m eating tortilla chips and dark chocolate– I’m so random!”) and only hint at the dirty bits if we want attention. Usually this is subconsciously unintentional, but it does shape the way we interact and share our lives online.
I’ve seen so many blog posts (btw, I haven’t kept up with blogs for several weeks, so please don’t think I’m talking about you, cause I’m not) that basically say, “Truth is, I want to be me, and not this post-cranking robot anymore! So I’m going to start posting random stuff that makes me happy, because this is, afterall, my blog.“
This is great, I’m glad people are realizing that the pride of putting on a front is not healthy. That living to be praised and liked by others can zap all joy from life. I’ve struggled with being liked and accepted a lot in real life, so I understand that it feels good to be “popular.” I also know how it feels to totally not fit in, have a friend, or feel wanted.
You know what? God doesn’t call us to be popular. He doesn’t give a command, “Go forth and make friends!” He says we will have enemies. He says we will not be popular, for His sake. When we stand for what is right, when we dress in ways or act in ways that aren’t exactly normal, we will probably be looked at weirdly. It’ll take longer for others to realize that we are just like them. We’ll be called goody-two-shoes. We’ll be accused of legalism. The list goes on and on. We shouldn’t shirk from this.
But, on the other hand, we aren’t called to be hermits. God calls us to live in communion, in like-mindedness, of one accord with those in our lives. We need to strive to live in peace and show one another love. When we live in community, in close relationships (think family, church friends, best friends) with other believers, there is much less room for this online “I’m so awesome” front to appear. They see your faults. They know that your life is so much less glamorous than you make it appear on your blog.Your little sister writes, “You need to make your bed” on your facebook timeline.
I met a couple readers of my blog last week in Iowa. I came away from my conversations with those folks wondering, “Am I a totally different person online? Am I real?” And yes, even, “Do they like me in person as much as they like me online?”
I’m so thankful to have my close friends and neighbors reading my blog. I know that if I post an outfit I totally wouldn’t wear in real life, they’ll call me out on it. My standards can’t change just because it is pictures and not real life. I’ve walked into my pastor’s house late at night and been greeted with, “Where’d your belt go that you were wearing on your blog this morning?” 😛 My friends are so sweet to comment in person about something they saw “on the blog.” It makes me feel less like I’m living two different lives. 🙂
My hope has always been to be real to y’all. To not appear perfect, holier-than-thou, or I-have-it-all-together. I’m not, I don’t. I want to bring y’all along on this crazy journey called life and encourage you while I’m at it. Like you’re one of my sisters, doing stuff together– dressing in each other’s clothes, driving down the road yelling out our favorite songs, getting grease on our skirts. Preaching doesn’t change lives as much as a living example. I’m human, but I serve an awesome God, who will use my fallibleness for His glory, I hope.
However, I know y’all don’t come to my fashion blog to see my dirty laundry. It’s not the place of this blog to confess that I yelled at my siblings when they dumped cheddar cheese all over the floor a minute ago. My hope is to encourage by real-life, practical example that modesty, femininity, and fun are not just heady, heart concepts, but ways of life. They can be effortless expressions of His work in your life.
Thanks for watching this little train of thought go past. I guess it was sparked by me sitting in the movie theater last night with a headache, dirty feet, and stuffy nose, waiting for The Avengers to start. I was introduced to Johanna (HI!), a blog reader, sitting three seats down, and realized… everything looks so much cooler online (queue Brad Paisley song). Y’all can’t tell by my body language when I have a headache through pictures. You can’t see me miserably rubbing my eyes when the lawnmower goes past. You can’t tell that I turned to the left for these pictures because I had tractor grease on the right side of my skirt. I’m always so humbled by your sweet comments, and I apparently felt led to make sure y’all know I have freckles and acne and bug bites all over me. 😉 😀
How do y’all deal with the online/real life gap? Thanks for staying with me while I figure it out. 🙂
P.S. Because I do live in the real world and this week has been crazy and only promises to get crazier, I’m skipping the Q&A post that was due this week and hopefully I’ll have another one ready by next Monday or Tuesday. 🙂