Thomas Merton & Social Media

First read this post.

Thomas Merton
How many hits did my last post get? How many "likes" have I have gotten on Facebook?  How many comments or tweets did I receive about the picture or video that I posted?  I think that most of us who have utilized social media have asked these types of questions.  I would even go a step further and argue that most of us have even obsessed over these questions. I know that I have.

Each time my post gets a lot of traffic I assume that I am doing well.  I begin thinking to myself, "I am a good writer." Each time the opposite happens I begin to think, "I am the worst writer in the world." The problem with all of this is that I am basing my interpretation on others opinions.  It might be OK to gather data to learn how to reach an audience more effectively, but it is not OK to gather data in order to to feed my ego and sense of self worth. Thomas Merton wrote about this damaging tendency in his classic work, The Seven Storey Mountain (old English):
"This was what I really believed in: reputation, success. I wanted to live in the eyes and the mouths and the minds of men. I was not so crude that I wanted to be known and admired by the whole world: there was a certain naive satisfaction in the idea of being only appreciated by a particular minority, which gave a special fascination to this urge within me. But when my mind was absorbed in all that, how could I lead a supernatural life, the life to which I was called? How could I love God, when everything I did was done not for Him but for myself, and not trusting in His aid, but relying on my own wisdom and talents?"
I'd like to get to the point where I embrace the concept  of  "what somebody thinks of me is none of my business."  I just want to glorify Christ through my writing...... and of course....impress my wife!


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