The Cross & The Culture: The Selfie Generation
Mar 26th, 2020 by Thomas Irvin
Missionary Papers, The Cross & The Culture:
“The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.” Psalm 94:11 KJV. Perpetual performance anxiety now dominates our world. The trouble is that we are not dealing with a reasonable form of performance (Public Speaking, Musical Performance, Sports Performance, etc.). Social media creates a form of performance anxiety in which individuals of the selfie-generation compete against themselves. With viral hope, one selfie after another is offered to the social media gods.
Maybe the first one goes viral, or even the first couple, but the trouble comes when the social media titans that so admired that perfect selfie no longer takes an interest. The competition begins and anxiety performance follows! The desire of the selfie generation is to gain victory over the vicious circle of self-deception leading them to believe they can regain the number of likes they once achieved. Just as a heroin addict seeks their fix, the social media addict seeks that flood of dopamine to temporarily relieve them of their depression or anxiety. This may seem like a silly proposition, but the reality is this routine dominates the lives of many. At times to the extent that it fully controls them, just as the drug of choice dominates the behavior of the addict.
The doctrine of self-esteem:
The selfie generation is a product of the self-esteem doctrine. Their entire lives they have been told if you would just “esteem yourself” or “believe in yourself” then all would be well. If you would just “believe in your heart” then one emotional trouble after the other would fall, never to rise again. Proponents of these foolish ideas often give me a perplexed look when I ask them: “Would you tell Charles Manson to “believe in his heart?” If only he had “esteemed himself” more highly, maybe he never would have turned out to be the sadistic leader of a death cult. Of course, we know such a philosophy does not work due to its unbiblical nature.
This doctrine fails primarily, of course, because it is unbiblical. But it is necessary to try and establish some specifics rather than just simply making a dogmatic statement. The idea of “esteeming self” at no point takes into account the person that has made no attempt whatsoever to establish any sense of character or morality. They live life subject to their impulses, freely given over to the lusts of their flesh. This, of course, leads to disastrous outcomes of which the consequences can be very serious. Rather than receiving proper instruction concerning the destructive nature of their choices, they are told to “believe in themselves.” As a result, the person never gets the help they need. Instead, the vicious circle that is their life turns into a cyclone of sorts leaving destruction in its path.
“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” Philippians 2:3 KJV. Had Charles Manson esteemed the other people in his life higher than himself, then we may not have had those brutal murders stain American history. The self-esteem doctrine is a complete failure. Soci