On days that I work, mornings are rushed. From the time I wake up until I have to be at work, I have to ready and feed myself, ready and feed my daughter, pack a lunch and get her to daycare. There is precious little time for anything other than the practical needs being taken care of. So once a week, when I have my day off, I especially enjoy taking my time in our morning routine – cuddling after waking up, eating breakfast together, paying attention to the giggles and sounds, playing and connecting. It seems being in a hurry can take away from those special moments.
However, one morning last week I realized that there is another detractor that can minimize and even rob us of these special moments. Social media. Broadcasting life. I was having one of these slowed down, special connections with my daughter early last Thursday morning and my thoughts went to how to capture the moment in a tweet-able sentence, or if I should grab my phone to take a cute picture for Instagram. (And now I’m blogging about it instead!) If I had followed those thoughts, I actually would have missed the real moment. It struck me that broadcasting life’s special moments is the complete opposite of cherishing life’s special moments. Here are two reasons why.
First, broadcasting life takes you out of the moment. As soon as that first thought enters your mind about how you can share this moment with your friends, family and followers, your attention is instantly divided. You are no longer taking in the moment, soaking in the sights, sounds, smells and feelings around you. You instead are visualizing this moment portrayed on a little screen. And if this special moment that you are missing includes a loved one, they have lost you. You’re not fully there anymore, half with them, half with your online imagination.
Second, it taints the moment. Sharing special moments with your online world may get you attention, but it can take away the special-ness. It may be more like exploiting your experience rather than cherishing it. Instead of receiving a special gift, that special moment is perhaps being used for personal gain or to build your reputation. You may think, everyone will think this is so cute, funny, or beautiful, but at what cost?
I am not saying anyone should stop using social media. It can be a fabulous way to share, to encourage, to entertain, to celebrate. I am suggesting however, that it is important to keep some things just for you. Notice the special things with your spouse, your kids, your friends and tuck them away in your heart until you are overflowing. Have a treasury of memories that are for only you, things that make you smile from the joy stored away in your heart – how you laughed when that funny moment happened at the supper table, that long hug he gave you when he got home from an especially long day, the time your child said I love you unprompted. These things are for you. Feel empowered to keep them safe, to cherish them. Be fully present in your moments. If you need help remembering them, journal about them.
Broadcasting life speaks of insecurity. Cherishing the moments speaks of confidence. Have the confidence to not need a comment, a “like”, or any other validation that what you just experienced was special. Cherishing moments is about taking it all in, tucking it away, remembering and reflecting. It makes me think of a verse from Luke about Mary’s experience of becoming Jesus’ mother. Luke 2:19, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Some pretty awe-inspiring and overwhelming things were happening in her life, and she treasured each of the special moments in her heart. I imagine some things that happened around Jesus’ birth she never shared with anyone until Luke sought her out to write his account of Jesus’ life. I hope someday I have a chance to tell my daughter about those moments when it was just her and me, when she made my heart burst with awe, gratitude, laughter and love. I hope someday I can reminisce with my husband about moments that were shared and kept sacred between just us that will remind us of the life and love we have together. I even hope someday I can sit at my Lord’s feet and remember the moments we shared – moments of love, surrender, worship, victory and joy.
I would love to hear your thoughts! How have you built a treasury of memories for yourself How do you balance what to share through social media?