I value honesty more than any other trait in a human. I cannot respect disingenuous individuals who seek shortcuts to reach the pinnacle or deceive to receive what they want. If one cheats to obtain a 4.0 GPA or get accepted into a top school, what has he or she really accomplished? Did that person really obtain the 4.0 or get into the top school? However, society overemphasizes superficiality, which leads to an irrational desire to draw attention.

The younger generation grows up with and thus is accustomed to social media, the most utilized form of communication today. Folks feel obligated to excessively display their positive sides and often indirectly become pretenders putting on a show for their social-media followers. For example, specifically on Instagram and Facebook, I spot innumerable people feeling the need to upload basically every Christian-related activity they pursue, which contradicts the Scriptures that teach us to do good deeds in secret. The influence of these social media results in the opposite behaviors of many accounts of persons on which I land. Countless individuals frequently share photos of their reading the Word, exceedingly underlined Bible, reactions to sermons, God-affiliated journal entries, and, most commonly, exaggerated captions and comments of thanking the Lord with pastor-words they do not even fully comprehend or mean. In reality, most of these people act nowhere near what they portray themselves to be in pictures but are rather envious, selfish, and turn the cold shoulder. The true Christians I know rarely ever comment on God on social media or feel the need to brag photos of Christianity to followers but instead remain private, as the Bible teaches us. I even witnessed a picture of a man, roughly a month after he was baptized, baptizing his friend; though none of my business, I could not think of any way to justify this. The man uploaded that photo with a virtual essay as the caption on his Instagram immediately following his baptizing. I reacted, “Is he baptizing for Instagram or really serious?” Had there been no way of sharing photos with millions of people on social media, would these users of aforesaid examples have behaved the same way? Based on what I have seen in person, I highly doubt it.

Because my morals do not let me lie about even the smallest matter, I cannot understand why people feel vulnerable staying true to themselves and believe they need to be mendacious to win. What do they gain by drawing fake attention? I shared these thoughts at church earlier this morning while volunteering, and everyone around surprisingly agreed with my views. As soon as I stopped talking, my pastor on stage talked about exactly what I had expressed on social media, especially Instagram and Facebook. Coincidental much?