I recently watched a Dutch documentary about the world of buying fake followers, likes and comments behind Instagram (@followme.doc). I knew about this world (I still receive messages of people wanting to sell me fake followers every day), but the extend to which it all happens astonished me. Apparently it’s quite common that parents buy fake followers for their children so they become more popular on their school (!).
After watching the documentary I almost wanted to delete my social media accounts and live in a monastery for the rest of my life. But that wouldn’t do justice to the other side of social media. It’s also a beautiful way to reach people around the world and to connect with them. But why are so many people (including me sometimes!) looking at their number of followers as if those numbers are gods, causing some of them to even build a fake life online?
A gap to fill
Dutch radio DJ Wietze de Jager recently wrote an article about the popularity of DJ’s like Martin Garrix and David Guetta, who have millions of followers on social media. The ultimate goal of fans is to be noticed and followed back by their idol. The DJ’s are almost like gods: when they tell the audience to jump or put up their hands, the fans do so. There’s not necessarily something wrong with that, but many hope to find an answer to a certain longing in the artists and music.
We are made to love and to be loved, but we’re always looking for something bigger, as if there is still a gap to fill. Could that be the disturbed relationship between God and humans? It’s so deep, but we don’t know where to find it anymore. So we look for it in for example social media, or in an idol like a DJ.
To me it’s God who fills the gap, not an idol. God, the DJ who gives so many parties every Sunday. You don’t have to buy tickets. Everyone gets a Meet & Greet. And He knows who you are. He doesn’t look at how many followers you have. You don’t have to beg for a ‘followback’. If you follow Him, He will follow you back.
A tool, not a goal
Social media can be beautiful, but it should be a tool, not a goal. Seek God and you will find. Seek followers and fame and you will never be satisfied. And I’m preaching to myself here too.