Why I am No Longer Obsessing Over My Follower Count on Instagram and Why You Shouldn’t Either

This past Sunday’s church sermon has really stuck with me. The message was about what happens when we compare ourselves to others, and how we should be focused on how God made us. He painstakingly knit you and I to be unique individuals, unlike anybody else. So we should find solace in that. The pastor went on to compare a dump truck and a Ferrari. Both are vehicles, but one is meant to carry a large amount of items, and the other to drive fast. The dump truck isn’t wishing to be a Ferrari and the Ferrari isn’t wishing to be the dump truck. Although the two have similarities, they were specially designed for their own purpose. The same is true for us believers. We shouldn’t occupy ourselves with someone else’s assignment, but instead stay focused on our own. God doesn’t compare what he creates. 

The next thing the pastor said is what made it all click for me: “Redefine success. Are you applauding things that Jesus isn’t?” On judgement day I am pretty sure God isn’t going to ask “How many Instagram followers did you have?” or “How many average comments did you get on your blog posts?” Instead he’ll ask “Did you do what I asked you to do?” This really put things into perspective for me. Lately I’ve been comparing myself to my friends who have tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram. I believe my content is just as good, and yet I am not receiving the same opportunities that come with having a large influence. I’ve been focusing on how I can increase my count, the right hashtags to use, posting at the suggested times of day, and feeling the highs and lows of reaching a new goal in the amount of people who follow me, only to lose ten followers the next week. It’s exhausting. And honestly kind of ridiculous. As a christian, I want to live my life according to His plan. What I am realizing is, the only opinion that really matters is God’s. He accepts me and loves me no matter how many likes I get. Wherever he chooses to take me in this short life, I will follow. His plan for me isn’t His plan for those I compare myself to. And I am learning to be okay with that.

My notes I took during the sermon

Whether you believe in God or not, I think we can all agree that your social media influence doesn’t define who you are as a person. If you have 100 followers, it doesn’t mean you’re not worthy or of value. Something else the pastor said was “Don’t confuse what is prominent with what is significant.” What really defines a person is what we can’t often see on social media– their character. If you didn’t know how many followers a person had, or their follower to following ratio, or seen the layout of their feed what would you think of that person? Are they the kind of person who will make a significant impact on the bettering of this world? Are they someone you can trust to stick up for those being oppressed? Will they march alongside you in protest, or stay at home behind their screen reposting articles about it?

Just some food for thought. Life is short. If you’re a Christ follower, you know that our time on Earth is a speck of dust on a pile of sand compared to our time in heaven. I don’t want to waste my time worrying about something that truly doesn’t matter at the end of the day. I am letting go and letting God.

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