Don’t trust a hearty meal on a flimsy plate.
Social media makes everyone look like the popular kid in class. You think they have it made. Then you realize their persona is a facade, and they are headed down the wrong path. This type of person gives unsupported advice like a gourmet meal served on a paper plate. Don’t trust it.
Nowadays, social media makes it even easier for youth and adults to become faithful followers of false idols. Social media influencers make money from ads based on content from entertainment. I have no resentment towards these folks, but 1 million views do not make someone a role model.
Then you see it, the infamous paper plate.
We’ve all been there. You’re scrolling down FB, Twitter, or IG and there you see him, a muscle-bound man in a selfie taken in the bedroom. In the mirror, you see clothes tossed about. On the nightstand sits an old Chinese take out container.
You swipe past when you come across a beautiful woman. Hair? Impeccable. Makeup? Masterful! Then you notice she’s in the bathroom. In the mirror, you spy that the vanity is a mess, her shower is filthy, and the toilet has stains from god-knows-what.
Now, disgusted and fatigued, you scroll on. A plate full of food catches your eye. The meal is full of color — your mouth waters. You can almost taste the pleasure. Your stomach starts to rumble.
Then you see it, the infamous paper plate. It’s over! You’re done with social media! It’s time to shut it down.
Maybe the chef prepared the food with exquisite technique and seasoning. It may be just like your grandmama used to make. But the cook risks catastrophe without the support of a solid plate.
I won’t lie; paper plates are quite useful at certain times. Of course, not every mirror, bathroom, and bedroom is clean at all times. Sometimes paper plates are better but vet your role models people.
Once you see that paper plate, dingy mirror, etc., you should ask a few more questions to determine if they’re worthy of your following.
What do they believe in?
Are they honest?
Do they support humanitarian issues?
Do they site resources, credit other creators?
Do they collaborate?
Do other creators trust them?
Feature or discuss family?
How have they handled controversy, lawsuits, money issues?
The girls in the class giggled blushed when he walked past.
Think of that social media influencer as a familiar person. It reminds me of a kid I knew in elementary school.
Jason was the popular kid in class. We were both in the advanced classes, so I knew he was smart. His height and athleticism brought him popularity. And the girls in the class giggled blushed when he walked past.
Often in dodgeball, he won the game or was one of the last few playing. I often made it to the end, too, but my game usually ended with that sharp ping against my bare skin. It stung, and the echoes shook the gymnasium.
I looked up to Jason. I was envious, but not in the toxic, resentful kind of way. I aspired to be like him. I aspired to develop similar physical gifts, charisma, and intelligence.
I tried to be like him. I asked my mom for shoes and clothes as he wore. I tried to walk and talk like him, too. I yearned for popularity.
Jason came out of the classroom with his grandmother.
Once, midterm grades were released, and the school set up times for teacher conferences. I waited with my mom to meet my teacher on the conference day. We were sitting in small-human-sized chairs colored that weird hue between tan and pink.
Jason came out of the classroom with his grandmother. We all greeting one another. I dapped up Jason with our version of a “cool” handshake. My mother spoke to his grandmother, before my teacher’s assistant called to us. We said goodbye and entered the classroom.
I learned not to envy.
Later I learned that his grandmother raised Jason because his parents abandoned him. His mom would come around now and then but was wildly inconsistent.
Still, Jason did well enough for a while. As we got older, Jason got into trouble. He stopped listening to teachers and started committing petty crimes.
I learned not to envy or mold my life around someone’s public persona. His public life represented only a minuscule portion of his life.
Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. 1 Corinthians 10:14
There were many Jasons throughout my life. I looked up to them for many reasons, but usually due to good looks, height, athletic prowess, and popularity. They just were nothing like me; middling height, dull face, and ridiculously shy.
Each time, though, I realized what glitters isn’t always gold. Even if parts are real, you never know what’s out of view.
Self-improvement is a life-style. If you’re at a roadblock in life or you just want to be happier, visit The Doctor’s Orders for a new perspective on self-improvement. Think of it as common sense on steroids.
Until next time my people.