I was reading the Catholic Herald issue from Lent 2018 when I came across a small piece of text from Mary Kenny (see below) that made me somehow relate with the idea of how ephemeris our lives are. The fact is that the large majority of us don’t spend much time thinking about it and we only briefly realise it when someone we care pass away.
This turn I do not want you to focus on the fact that we can’t plan when we die, when get sick or when suffering comes into our life.
I would like you to focus the way our society is evolving and it’s impact in our life, our way of living and how fragile it is.
Today the large majority of us have mobile phones.
Apple, Samsungs, Android, Blackberry, Windows, just to name a few, are all devices that do far more sophisticated things than just receiving and making calls. The last generation of mobile phones have functionalities like manage contacts, agendas, play videos and games, watch movies, listen to music, record notes and much more. The usability is almost unlimited, all because of the availability of a large number of applications that present alternative ways of using those devices to easy our daily life.
Willing or not we some-point will end-up with one of these devices and we will notice that we will gradually became addicted to its functionalities and applications. One of most used groups of applications are called social media.
Nevertheless not willing to go into much detail of what this application group is, we must refer that Social Media applications are “…interactive computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.” (Wikipedia).
According to several studies Social Media applications seam to have a key part of our lives. People tend to spend most of their time navigating and posting items into applications Like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. It’s not the purpose of this note to clarify the sociological impact of this fact, although I would like you to think about the importance of this high level of usage and it’s impact in our social life.
Under the promise of keep us in touch with our friends, family or just being a kind of “Big brother” to the famous or a way to know the last minute gossip news from the village, social media tools are becoming more or less naturally a way people have to show the glamorous side of their world. The personal achievements and professional successes, the great holidays, the brilliant kids they have, the super school the youngest kid is attending, the high skilled singer daughter, etc.
In Social Media all seam to be perfect and all seam to be living the dreamed life.
The challenge we face as a society/ humanity is how much of this is contributing to the well-fair of our emotional, social, physical health?
How much of those frames of happiness, achievements, dreams published on social media represent the true reality what people is living? How much of those posts are the real day-to-day life and not only tinny seconds of the other hours of those people lives?
How are we that don’t live or have the chance to live those shinning moments dealing with all this glamorous lives and the crosses we are carrying along our journey?
My perspective is that we all have good moments in our lives, some we are proud off, and some moments we carry out our cross with more and less effort, more and less pain.
When looking and Social Media and the fantastic moments we regular see on it, my proposal is clear: Even the ones that look happy today have their cross moments, and probably, like us, they are carrying theirs as they publish the great holiday pictures taken back in the day.
Looking at Christ in the cross and all the journey he made heading to the Calvary, we must remind ourselves that somepoint during our life journey we will carry our cross, more or less heavy we will be carrying it.
The comfort lies in the reassurance that we are not alone in our pains, worries, fears and distress. God is with us, he went through it to show us the way. The Way of the Cross is part of the human condition and we need to make sure we are ready for it when it comes…. behind the scenes of the happy picture posted on the social media.
I’m a somewhat discontented person by nature, and prone to envying others. Why can’t I go off to the south of France for three months like a neighbour I know? Why can’t I have a brand-new kitchen costing £5,000, as a pal is having? Why can’t I have as robust health as some of those hardier folk of my age? Why do I have to wake at 3am, brooding on my problems?
Discontentment is not an entirely negative force, because it can nudge you to be more ambitious, to improve and do better. But it is toxic when it’s disproportionate or narcissistic. And strange as it seems, a contemplation of the Stations of the Cross is a very grounding experience in reminding me that however glossy a life appears on the outside, everyone has their troubles and worries: everyone has a cross to bear, and everyone encounters suffering. Even if you don’t see what that cross is, it’s there somewhere.
” author: Mary Kenny in Catholic Herald (April18)