Snapchats of Dead Bodies: The Loss of Sacred Things

By: Jennie Scott

“Did you see where kids were Snapchatting during the shooting?” my sister asked. “They showed the bodies on the ground.”

No, I didn’t. Thank goodness. But I am not surprised.

In a world where anyone with a phone is a news source and where everyone with social media can become a pseudo-celebrity, it is no shock that what was once sacred is snapped instead.

The norm these days is sharing it all.

We don’t think twice about sharing pictures of our anniversary gifts on Facebook, and we share our worship services in 30 second Instagram story snippets. Our emotions spill out on our social media, and what ought to remain private is posted for public consumption.

I am guilty, too — don’t think I’m condemning anyone.

Just today, I wanted to screenshot what I read in my Bible and post it for my followers to see. I felt the need to show what God was teaching me personally to people who are called my followers. (Let’s just analyze that sentence for a second, friends.) My instinct was to take private revelations and make them public.

What does sacred really mean, and is anything sacred anymore? It’s a question I keep asking. What in my life is worthy of deep reverence and respect, and what should I hold so dearly to my heart that I don’t need to show it to the world? And when I do post for the world to see, what is my motive?

I wish there were easy answers.

I was telling someone just yesterday that my work is a constant battle in contradictions for me. It is intensely private, but I share it through social media. I wrestle with spiritual concepts privately so I can teach them and encourage other people publicly. It is good work that I know I am called to, but that doesn’t mean I don’t question daily how to do it well.

So how do I balance the sacred and the shared? How do any of us?

I don’t know that. But I do know this:

  • We have to question ourselves and our motivations.
  • We have to set boundaries for ourselves.
  • We have to keep our pride in check.
  • We have to respect anyone affected by our posts.
  • We have to ask God for revelation.
  • We have to sometimes put our phones away and just rest in the sacred, soaking in the experience.
  • We have to realize that posts and pictures aren’t the only proof that something mattered.

Today, I will leave you with a challenge, one I’m taking myself. Keep some things sacred. Mark some boundaries for what you’ll share, and give yourself the freedom not to let the world in on everything you’re doing. Live without the compulsion to share.

Don’t sacrifice what’s sacred for a need to be seen.

Article supplied with thanks to Jennie Scott.

About the Author: Jennie is married with two children who shares lessons from her own unexpected journeys and encouragement you might need for yours.

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