“He was Really Good at Social Media”
What do you want to be known for?
“We gather here today to celebrate the life of a man whose Facebook posts always gave us a much needed laugh and whose pun-filled videos made scrolling through our timelines a little more bearable. If there’s anything we can take away from his legacy on earth, it’s that he was really good at social media.”
That’s probably how my funeral is going to go down. At least, that’s the sense I get from people when I think about the things I’m complimented on the most. They might throw in a “he was also really stylish” for good measure, but that’s as good as it’ll get.
I know people aren’t valuating my entire existence and usefulness to this world in regard to me being good at posting funny things in short, written form, but that’s what it feels like when that’s the majority of what you hear from people you interact with. Maybe you’ve experienced something similar where people have always told you that you were good at things (being athletic, singing, impersonations, etc.) and you feel like it’s the only thing people seem to notice about you.
I think it frustrates me because when I look at the bigger picture, being “good at social media” (I’m still trying to figure out what that means) is very insignificant. And being of an age where you’re trying to figure yourself out, what your strengths are, and how you can contribute to the world in a meaningful way, I can say social media proficiency is near the bottom of the list. I do think there’s something to be said about being gifted in something. Not everyone can sing exceptionally, or pick up on scientific concepts quickly, but all those things should be a means to something greater.
We have these gift and talents, not to simply be known for them, but to use them for greater reasons.
I think in each one of us there’s a desire to be associated with things that are meaningful. We want to feel like we’re contributing to something that we deem as good and lasting. For me, that looks like helping bring restoration to people through digital mediums and being more than the funny guy who can make you laugh with 140 characters or less. For you, it might look like bringing hope to a school of underprivileged students as a principal, serving villages across boarders to improve the health of the villagers, or maybe you’re creating art that brings comfort to those who feel trapped in anxiety. There are hundreds and hundreds of ways you can use something you’re good at to do more in the world.
When I’m laying in my casket, already departed from the world, my hope is that my legacy on this earth did more for the people I interacted with than I could dare to dream. I’m okay with being good at social media, but I don’t want it to stop there because I don’t just want to be known for something I’m good at. I just want to be known for something good. And I hope the same for you.