As we drive down the road, my 12-year-old daughter mopes, “Someone unfollowed me on Instagram today.”
Really? My pre-teen actually knows how many people follow her and notices when when one stops?
“It’s all about the numbers and how many people follow you,” adds my 15-year-old daughter.
Honestly, I’m stunned.
Comparisons are helpful: when checking features on big purchases; determining the best price (I comparison shop with the Amazon app on my phone all the time); looking at nutrition facts on food packaging. When we shift our gaze to people, however, comparisons can discourage, debilitate, and depress (or puff us up with pride, depending on how we rate ourselves in the comparison).
My kids fell into the same trap that hooked me six years ago when I started blogging (and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t struggle with it still): the numbers game. Why do we need to compare ourselves—or our fans and followers—to others to feel important? Aren’t solid connections with names and faces that we recognize better than being observed by strangers?
But in a culture where everyone thinks they’re a rockstar, what do you expect?
I roll my eyes now when Klout emails me to say that my score has dropped; apparently I don’t put the hours into Twitter and Facebook that they deem worthy. Show me a score that measures face-to-face interaction, how much time I spend doing laundry, and whether my husband and children feel loved.
Can I spend so much time chasing numbers that I cease to live a life worth writing about in the first place?
I want to spend my days striving to follow Him instead of worrying about who’s following me.
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