Why We Shouldn’t Try to Be Popular

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Being popular sounds inviting, does it not? Isn’t it true that we all like to be liked? Whether we’re scrolling through Instagram, reading a blog, or talking to someone in person, do thoughts of jealousy silently creep in when we see their greater popularity? Do we not, even subconsciously, compare our own lives to what we are presented through social media, the internet, and conversations? That’s the key word here: presented.

For this post, I’m going to use Instagram as the main example, but it can be applied to any social media platform, the internet, or an in-person experience.

The countless Instagram accounts brimming with perfectly planned photos and striking filters may make it seem to any onlooker that those accounts represent the real lives of the Instagrammers. However, I can assure you, they do not. The Instagrammers don’t see the world through the Valencia filter or have lives compiled of only the most seemingly perfect photos they post. Life doesn’t work that way, not for anybody. Many people post content for the sole reason of becoming popular with their audiences. Their content may not even please themselves, and only be posted for sheer popularity/followers/likes.

Now that we’ve established that what some people choose to present to their audience does not necessarily reflect their true lives, let’s each ask ourselves a question. Do I do that?

When we post something either on social media or the internet, or even how we act and speak, are we doing it for popularity, to impress someone, and to seem a little different than we really are? Are we trying to get more likes or friends by presenting things that do not reflect our true selves? What if, by doing that, we are creating a fictional social front and not revealing what we truly enjoy, think, or find interesting?

Fortunately, there is an easy fix for this epidemic of trying to become popular: don’t try. Just completely drop everything that is dishonestly encouraging popularity and instead be yourself. Present content that truly makes you happy and interests you. Stop “trying” to be popular, because if you aren’t being yourself, then they don’t like you, they like the artificial life you have presented.

Also, this is a reminder that you do not have to agree with other people (on social media, the internet, or in real life) just to become popular in their eyes. Do not feel as though you must pretend to like or agree with something that a friend likes or agrees with to win their friendship or approval. Lying and being dishonest about what you believe or like to gain popularity is definitely not a good thing to practice. Being popular in the eyes of friends, peers, and strangers matters not a pittance if you aren’t popular in God’s eyes.

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When people look at what we present to the world, we should want them to see us, not a fake life that we’ve created for an audience. More importantly, when people look at us, they should see Jesus. We should always remember that what we present should be a reflection of our Lord above; things that are true, things that are pure, and things that are lovely. Be yourself, the daughter/son of The King and be sure to represent Him in everything we do.

As my final question: what are you presenting to the world: content created to gain popularity, or the real you, the child of The King?

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Do you find yourself presenting content for popularity that isn’t the real you?

Have you ever felt like you had to agree with someone to gain popularity in their eyes?

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Megan Joy

(P.S. There is nothing wrong with posting pretty or pre-planned pictures on social media, but make sure that it represents the true you, things that you like, enjoy, and wish to share with others, like the love of our Heavenly Father!)

Quote of the Week // 38th Week

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Samuel Johnson, born 308 years ago today in 1709, was an essayist, biographer, teacher, and poet, most well-known for his creation of the 1755 dictionary of the English language. He died at the age of seventy-five and was buried at Westminster Abby.

You can tell what a person is like by watching what they do and by the way they treat others. Sometimes, people treat others according to the condition or cost of their clothes, car, house, fame, and money. They treat them well because they assume they themselves will get something out of it. It could be something so small as someone holding a door open for a famous TV host, but not for a man in a dirty sweatshirt right behind him.

 If we treat people according to what they can do for us, we lose that common standard of kindness. We shouldn’t regulate our kindness towards others by their abilities to benefit our own lives. We need to treat all people like they were billionaires! Be kind and loving to everyone, even those who won’t benefit us in any way, because that is what we were all made to do.

“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” – John 15:12 KJV

Ephesians 4:32: “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” KJV

These verses don’t say, “Love one another only if it benefits you.” God wants us to treat each other equally well, no matter how they appear or present themselves to us.  

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What are your thoughts on treatment towards others?

Would you open a door for someone who didn’t appear valuable for your own benefit?

How would you treat someone who could give you absolutely nothing in return?

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Megan Joy