It’s the age of social media, a time when we can live in constant, immediate communication with friends and followers by sharing our thoughts, feelings and photos.
Certainly, the benefits of social media platforms are incredible. Personal relationships can be enhanced, news can be shared instantaneously, businesses can advertise for free, and people across the globe can connect with ease. Yet like everything else, using social media has pitfalls.
Maybe the most prevalent phenomenon of the two-sided coin of social media is the selfie. NBC News reporter Lou Dubois captures today’s pervading mindset in the first sentences of an article: “Look at me, with the Pope! Look at me, at a funeral! Look at me, in class while my teacher is going into labor! Yes, 2013 is the year of the selfie — but that doesn’t mean this global #me craze won’t be even bigger in 2014.”
A new platform created just for the selfie is now in the works, and it’s simply named Selfie. The app will allow users to upload photos directly from front-facing cameras on phones, and users can reply to a selfie only with a selfie — a comment or “like” option won’t be available.
Founder Joshua Nguyen, an experienced social media app developer, said people mostly enjoy looking at photos of themselves. “This is a real app where people can confront who they really are and their identity through an easy way to capture themselves at any time,” he said.
Contrary to Nguyen’s opinion, users won’t be able to find their identities through a social media platform; the only way any person can truly discover an identity is by finding identity in Jesus Christ. Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. And the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Paul’s words fly in the face of the selfie craze. Life really isn’t about the self, yet more ways to shamelessly promote ourselves continue to develop.
We won’t find ourselves through selfies, status updates or hashtags, and, in reality, a constant focus on social media can have the opposite effect. We’ll lose ourselves in the hurricane of popular culture, pointless trends and excessive self-promotion.
True identity is only found through faith in Christ, when we are covered with his blood through inexplicable grace — and that’s something a selfie can never provide.