It seems that in the busyness and the instant-ness of social media it is easy to jump in and cheerfully and thoughtlessly post memes or hashtags along with everyone else without giving them much thought.
I'm guilty of this.
Just recently I saw a short video on Facebook and laughed. It was really cute. Until I read a comment about it that brought me up short. No, it really wasn't funny, after I took a moment to think about the implications.
But I had joined in with the thousands of other "likes" before thinking.
And have you ever posted a special picture with #blessed attached to it? It seems a happy thing to do -- a sharing of your blessings with friends. An acknowledgement, even, that it's a gift from a real Gift Giver.
But if you stop to think about it, saying "I'm blessed" can be an insulting, and not altogether true, statement.
What?! Well, bear with me.
"How are you?" one friend asks another.
"Oh, I'm blessed. My son just got a full-ride scholarship to XYZ University."
Or, "We just got back from a wonderful cruise. We're so blessed."
Or, "The lab results came back and everything's normal. I'm #blessed!"
How about just saying, "I'm so thankful," or, "I'm so grateful."
When you say you are #blessed, it subtly implies that your friend, who isn't experiencing the same "blessing" as you, isn't really blessed.
Yes, your kid has a full ride to a prestigious university, but does that mean that your friend whose child is struggling to pay his or her way through community college is not #blessed?
That the friend who can't afford a cruise, and is hoping for a few days at the lake this summer, is not blessed?
That the Lord has forgotten the friend whose lab results are a concern? That, somehow, she is less worthy of a blessing?
There are blessings in every circumstance, and reasons to be grateful in every situation. To imply that the Lord is with you in a special way just because things went your way reduces Him to a gumball machine in the sky -- a god who hands out #blessings to a privileged few and ignores the rest.
A picture of a new baby with the hashtag "blessed"? Of course, babies are wonderful blessings. Just about the best. But what about the woman who is struggling with infertility? Is she to see herself as unblessed?
To say "I'm thankful," to me, implies a humility and gratefulness that #blessed doesn't. #Blessed, to me, has a touch of pride about it.
Of course, there are promises in the Bible about receiving blessings. Sometimes these are material things. But oftentimes they're not. They are things like patience and joy and love and long-suffering. Which don't always make catchy Instagram-worthy posts. (Nor should they, when you come to think of it -- "hey, I'm more patient than I was last year! #blessed." Ugh.)
What do you think? Do you agree, or am I just being cranky?
p.s. Actually, Google says I'm spot on. I just looked up #blessed and discovered that many, many people are fed up with this hashtag. There was the article on "Why #blessed is the most annoying hashtag on Instagram." And why "#blessed is the new brag." The New York Times even said it was the "go-to term for people who want to boast about an accomplishment while pretending to be humble."
And I thought I was being original in my dislike of it.