I'm Gonna Say Something
Why I'm overcoming the fear of commenting on Social Media
So this is the next new thing (to me):
Oddly enough, sometimes your new thing has been in front of you your entire life, and you’ve just been too scared to do it. That’s what this one is to me. See, I'm naturally more comfortable living on the shy side, like, "hiding behind a houseplant at a party just dusting the leaves” kind of shy. But, this shyness isn't only a real-life thing; it extends to the digital realm as well. Yep, I'm that person who giggles at hilarious posts, silently cheers on my friends' achievements, but never quite presses those keys to leave a comment. Why, you ask? Well, the fear of typing out something that rivals the wit of a potato, the fear of making a stupid typo, or of my humor being misunderstood has all kept me from ever making a comment on anyone’s social media post. Not only that, but for a long time it’s kept me from really doing anything on social media out of the basic fear of rejection.
Now, by way of backstory, let me tell you about my experience with my latest new thing and my attempt to break out of shyness: my own newsletter! Yes, cue the confetti cannons and the disco ball, because the Next New Thing (to me) is up and running and is allowing me to risk it all and say no to my digital shyness. In this cozy corner of the internet, I get to share my thoughts, tales, and antics with others with the hope that it will encourage people to embark on their own new things. But I have to admit, at times it has been a bit like standing on a stage in front of a silent audience - with no way of knowing if I’ll get applause or crickets, i.e. it’s as scary as can be.
Which leads me to today’s topic. Through this experience, I have discovered there's something that makes the crickets clear the room and that’s getting comments. It was like a surprise party in my mind when an encouraging comment first landed at the bottom of my post. Felt like I was getting an unexpected hug from a digital friend. My heart did a happy dance, and I couldn't help but grin like a Cheshire cat chewing on an extra cheesy slice of virtual pizza. In the grand scheme of things, it was a tiny connection, but really it felt like a huge victory.
This got me thinking – if receiving a comment felt this good to me, maybe I should overcome my shyness some more and start sprinkling a bit of that joy into other people's lives too. After all, I know firsthand the exhilaration of seeing a comment pop up unexpectedly. So, armed with newfound determination and a virtual "you've got this" pep talk, I’m setting out to be more deliberate and fearless in leaving comments on my friends' posts.
And, I'm not talking about those generic, one-size-fits-all comments like "Nice pic!" or "Love this!" Nope, I’m going to try to add a little personal touch, share a thought or two that shows I genuinely am engaged with what they share. It's like offering my virtual high-five, a digital pat on the back that says, "Hey, I see you, and what you shared matters."
And this is my comment to you: The next time you find yourself smiling at a post or feeling a surge of encouragement, don't let that moment slip by unnoticed. Drop a comment, share a few words of support, or even just send some virtual confetti. Your words might be the unexpected gift someone needs to brighten their day.
In the spirit of the classic movie, "Pay It Forward," selfless giving and acts of kindness take on a profound relevance in our Christian journey. Just as the film's protagonist initiated a chain reaction of goodwill, we too are called to initiate ripples of love in our interactions, both in person and on our social media platforms. Our faith prompts us to embody Christ's love by reaching out to others, thinking about them, and being intentional in our expressions of love, even if we feel too shy to do it. I figure Jesus selflessly gave his life for me, so the least I can do is give up my fear of being the fool for him. That means as I scroll through my social media feeds, I’m going to seize the opportunity to uplift and encourage, to be the voice of kindness in a virtual world that often needs it most, and I encourage you to do the same. Imagine the impact if we all committed to paying forward the love and grace we've received, sharing the love of Christ no matter the consequences.
I figure Jesus selflessly gave his life for me, so the least I can do is give up my fear of being the fool for him.
So, my fellow shy souls and digital introverts, let's step out of our comfort zones and embrace the power of comments. Let's share in the joy of connecting with others, of brightening someone's day with a few heartfelt words. Let's turn our fears into opportunities for faithfulness and connection.
If you’ve read this far, thank you! Below are 3 buttons. Your clicks and responses on these are HUGELY helpful in attracting new readers. I also love them! I’m trying to make this newsletter a way people can get my content, since bookstores have all but left us. I need your help. Please share this post with friends and consider subscribing. In the coming months, I will have a few of my new books available for free for those who subscribe as well as my new podcast series, The Next New Thing (To Me).