Long ago, in a place far away, Shakespeare said, “All the world is a stage.” Little did he know how much truth would be found in that statement in the age of YouTube and Instagram stories. A little over a year ago, Jon Acuff wrote a post, “The old rules don’t apply” and the following paragraph really struck me:
When my grandfather was my age, he couldn’t build an audience easily. What would he have done? Run for local government? Try to get a radio show? Write for the city paper? He couldn’t reach a million people with a tweet. He couldn’t live broadcast from his own house with his own phone. He couldn’t sell something on Amazon.
The conclusion of the article is that now we CAN build an audience easily. We don’t have to run for local government. We don’t have to get a radio show at a radio station. We don’t have to write for the city paper. We CAN reach a million people with a tweet. We CAN broadcast from our home on our phone. We CAN sell things on Amazon without ever actually seeing or touching those things.
I guess the question I have is although we CAN do those things, SHOULD we? Don’t get me wrong. I am obviously typing this on a blog, trying to reach people and establish a following. I love listening to podcasts. I have a Twitter account. And I have tried selling things on Amazon (failed miserably, but I tried). But, our world has become so much about “likes” and “followers” and “vlogs” and “pods” that we often fail to give those who are actually going through life WITH us (not following us, but walking along side of us) enough time and attention and love. I also fear that we have lost our ability to move through life quietly and contentedly. And I fear that our society has now become more likely to reward those with large followings than those with large hearts or large minds.
What does it do to us when our values are more tied to how many strangers follow us and like us more than giving to others or making the world a better place. It is hard to be a parent in these days. It is hard to be a teacher in these days. It is hard to be a human in these days. Changing our focus towards the One we follow rather than how many followers we have will be helpful. So, this week, I plan to do just that. Stop focusing on posting things on Facebook to be liked. Stop worrying about whether my blog is being read by many or only a few and focus more on the message I am sharing with others. Stop looking backwards for followers and start looking up to follow the One who leads best.