Things are not always what they seem

  • Pete Johnson
social media phone

“A Picture is worth a thousand words” ….

 Until it’s not.

This past week we celebrated the 4th of July. Millions took to social media to share their excursions. One such post was a picture of a family friend who hiked up Mt. Marathon with her infant daughter strapped to her chest!

When I heard about it, I commented on how tough and in shape she was, and what an incredible feat of physical prowess that was. Super Impressed, and to be honest, a little jealous.

However, when she heard how impressed I was and in awe of her “super mom feat,” she replied, “You don’t know the whole story behind that picture.”

You see, the events leading up to her super cool, awe-inspiring post – her real life that did not get posted – I would not want to emulate nor be jealous of.

That morning, around 2 am, the camper she and her infant daughter were sleeping in was viciously attacked by a woman with a baseball bat because it was parked where this lady deemed it shouldn’t have been. After that was settled, her daughter became ill and was throwing up the rest of the morning up until her run up the mountain!

The social media post showed us a young mother living her best life, maybe something to emulate or be envious of. What it didn’t show was the reality of her life 8 hours prior.

According to, as of April 2024 over half of the world (62.6%), uses social media.

5.07 billion people use social media and on average spend over 2 hours a day on given platforms.

“Assuming that people sleep for between 7 and 8 hours per day, these latest figures suggest that people spend roughly 14 percent of their waking lives using social media.

Added together, the world spends roughly 12 billion hours using social platforms each day, which is the equivalent of more than 1.35 million years.”

Social media has always been branded as “a way to stay in touch” or “be informed”, and in many ways this holds true. However, social media also has its dark side.

Studies have shown that the use of social media can be a major contributor and even cause depression, self-worth issues, isolation, and other serious problems.

Why is this? Because life on Instagram and Facebook isn’t always what it seems. We have all, at some point, fallen prey to this. We look at someone’s post or story and wish that could be our lives. Or we see what others are doing and we need to do it bigger and better so that others will admiringly look at us.  We want to be liked and accepted.

Unfortunately, many Christians attempt to portray their lives as “Facebook” quality. Afraid of letting their brothers and sisters in Christ see what is going on behind the scenes. One of the reasons many Christians struggle in life is because they fail to be real with other believers about how life is going.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
James 5:16