Social Media was dominated yesterday by the absolute tragedy of the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral. What struck me was the slew of photos people posted of themselves in front of the Cathedral. I guess people were wanting their networks to know, ‘I have been there, this is really hitting me extra hard.’ Then there was the response where some used the tragedy as a teachable moment. They made a statement about what church really is, or some other commentary such as questioning materialism. This drove home for me how self-centered social media can be. How quickly we move from sharing news with our network to building our personal brand.
I write this fully aware that I am a prime example of this shift towards self-focus through social media. Left unchecked, social media can become a training ground for narcissism.
We are in the midst of Holy Week where our focus shifts from ourselves to the cross, aswe recall the profound sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It is in this context that I recognize my own developing narcissism being actively fostered by social media.
I commit to doing what I can to keep the focus on God. As the Collect for this coming Easter Sunday reads,
O God, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant us so to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
May I continue to die daily to sin, Lord.
Rev Mark Brown