Virtually Loving Others?

I’ve really opened a can of worms for myself. I’ve been focusing on what it means to love others. What does that really mean or look like? I love my wife and kids even with all their flaws. That’s about it. As I reflect on all other relationships outside my family, all the loving I do outside my immediate family is really on my own terms and is completely dependent on what I get out of it to be honest. I am a sinner no doubt. I am trying evaluate myself and “get right with God” so to speak. After all it’s part of the greatest commandment “love others as yourself”.

Here’s what revealed my internal struggle: people who constantly post pictures of just themselves. Again, and again, and again. Like they are models but they’re not. And not selfies. I’m talking about a completely posed picture. THEN, all the people that “like” the pics and ooze appreciation of sharing this with the world. That really moves me to anger and hate.

I hate all those people. Or do I?

I know who these people are and some are related to me but I don’t hang out with them and haven’t seen some of them in 10, 20, 30 years. Can I hate someone I don’t know? I don’t comment on the pictures I just seethe inside every time I see them. I want to comment “I notice you are by yourself again” but as an act of love I don’t even point this out. So I’ve got that going for me. Of course this type of “discourse” is only on social media and the internet. Can you imagine if this was a normal…a real life practice….whipping out hard prints and showing people pictures of yourself?

Maybe it’s not exactly “loving others” that I struggle with but the idea that I can’t just be happy for somebody who enjoys posting pictures of ONLY themselves. I feel VERY unloving toward them. To me, that person is entirely self absorbed and deserves no recognition but why should I care?

I heard a quote the other day “you can dislike someone and still give yourself to them”. That’s actually a very true characteristic of loving someone. You give yourself to them no matter what.

The problem is SOCIAL MEDIA ISN’T REAL. This is not real life but we’ve made it as though it is. You can’t “give yourself to them” online. Maybe if I really got to know this person I’d recognize that they internally battle with insecurity.

I think the problem is that social media has trained me to judge people without knowing them. I judge them, don’t comment, resent them, and now feel like I have a problem with them when I actually haven’t had a face to face conversation with them in five years! So I’m associating my ability to love others based on a feeling I get when I see what equates to a news report about them and written by them. Talk about a bias!

Anyway, I quit Facebook and Twitter(kind of) last October. I jump on once a month just to catch up but I refuse to post anything. As I’ve noted before, I grew tired of seeing the events of life as posts.

It’s amusing that the same people are saying/posting the same things from month to month. Very little variance. My life is not that stable.

I hope that makes sense. I will now post and not reread any of this.

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