the power of “likes”

“It always happens. We can both post a picture on Facebook, and your post will get twice as many ‘likes’ as mine.”

These may not be the exact words, but a comment like this was heard in our home recently. Our home with – wait for it – two adults in their 50s. Seriously! And this is not the first time this type of comment has been incredulously uttered.

Now let me clarify. There was a ton of laughter, and nobody was truly hurt by this reality (at least I don’t think anyone was). Along with the laughter, there was some math. Yes, math. (I wrote about how much I love reading last week. Well, I also kind of like math.) The one who tends to get more “likes” on these similar posts is the one who has 2.5 times as many “friends.” It just makes sense. The real tragedy is that the one with 2.5 times as many friends does not get 2.5 times as many likes on these similar posts.

Although we had a good laugh, this is not a laughing matter for many people we know. Obsessing over the “likes” is a reality in our culture. Here are some examples.

  • One person deletes a tweet after four hours when nobody has “favorited” said tweet.
  • Another person likes their own Instagram post to increase the number of likes – but only after there are enough “likes,” so it isn’t obvious.

Maybe you just post what you want with no thought of “likes.” I typically lean in that direction; however, I am not immune to being affected by social media. Recently I celebrated a birthday, and I enjoyed lots of birthday wishes and encouraging words on my Facebook timeline. I will be honest – I didn’t hate it. I think most of us enjoy words of affirmation (even if that isn’t our main “love language”).

Going to bed that night I felt very loved. And then I remembered my birthday four years ago when two people posted on my timeline. Not a typo – TWO! I think two more people posted the day after my birthday for a total of four. I am not going to lie – I remember being a little bummed that day.

So, even though I don’t count “likes,” on that day four years ago I remember “counting” birthday posts. Okay, I didn’t have to actually count because Facebook will tell you, “(this many) friends posted on your timeline for your birthday.” Thanks for rubbing it in, Facebook.

Maybe you can’t relate to my situation. Maybe you can’t relate to the other examples above. Maybe social media is not a big part of your life. But, have you ever found yourself allowing the words or opinions of others to affect you? Have you ever found yourself looking for the favor of those around you?

Why do you think that is? One word:


In her book, face time: your identity in a selfie world, Kristen Hatton defines idolatry as “anyone or anything that takes God’s place in your heart.” When I allow others (via social media or in real life) to govern what I believe or how I think, I am giving them control over my life – control that is rightly God’s. Ugh! Gross!

Thankfully, I can go to God’s word to be reminded of His truth – truth about Him and truth about me. Starting with the truth about Him is key! The truth about me is built on the foundation of WHO HE IS and what He has done for me!

I am also thankful that God has put people in my life who speak His truth to me. They remind me that God is doing a work in my life. They remind me that ” he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

Finally, I am thankful that my identity is in Christ and not in the “likes!”

***You can get a copy of Kristen’s book here or here.

a brilliant idea

Last summer my oldest had a brilliant idea, which shouldn’t be surprising. He is borderline genius after all. For real. No joke.

The idea? Family book club. My kind of adventure!

I know, I know – my kind of adventure is also bungee jumping, zip lining, traveling to new places, trying new food, karaoke, riding bird scooters (and falling off to avoid running over oldest – story for another day)…the list could go on.

But, I LOVE reading. Before I ever started school, I loved reading, so I absolutely loved this idea!

We each picked a book (there are four of us), and from mid May through September of 2018 we read them and discussed. Now, word has it that some of us didn’t finish every book, but because this was my kind of adventure, I did. And, even though three of the books were fiction, they were each unique – just like the four of us.

We read:

  • a science fiction, satirical, anti-war novel published in the 1960’s and on a list of 100 books everyone should read.
  • a non-fiction memoir which was #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and a Pulitzer Prize finalist. Hanky not included but needed.
  • a young adult fiction book that is the first book in a series (I do like a good series!)
  • a novel written by a Swedish author full of humor and a tear or two.

There is so much that I loved about this besides the obvious – the reading.

I loved that each of us picked a book that fit our personality.

I loved that I read books that might not have made it to the top of my reading list last summer – or ever.

I loved that it was a fun way for our family to connect, since there are many miles between us. One kid is near the Pacific. One kid is near the Atlantic. We are in the middle. Thankfully, technology makes it easy to have a long distance book club.

And, I loved that it was fun! Right up there with loving adventure, I love fun! (For those of you who are into the enneagram, can you tell my number?)

This is something that anyone could do, and it doesn’t just have to be family. You could do a long distance book club with friends, too. I might need to set one of those up – anyone want to be a part of my potential long distance book club? 

So, are you wondering what we actually read last summer?

We read:

  • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  • When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
  • The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
  • My Grandmother asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman

I would love to share one of these books with one of you, so I guess we need to have a contest!! I LOVE winning things; hopefully you do too! To have your name entered to win your choice, like this post and follow my blog – that is super easy. If you want a second entry, comment with your guess for which of the books was my choice. (Or for those of you who know my whole family, you might be able to guess for all four of us.) For a third entry, share this post on your social media. I will draw a name from those who “enter” and let you pick the book you would like for me to send to you. Deadline to enter: Wednesday, February 27 at midnight CST.

May the odds be ever in your favor!