Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What's all the hype?

In the book, Tuesdays with Morrie, a dying man says, "The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn't work, don't buy it."

Recently my church, Apostles, has been diving into the subject of hyperreality. What is hyperreality? Officially, it's a term that refers to the inability of humans to distinguish what is actually "real" in a culture where a multitude of media can radically shape and filter our reality. Dumbing it down, it means that we are surrounded by a media drenched world (advertisements, magazines, news, music, internet) that causes us to feel discontent by our ordinary lives.

We strive to look like the girl on the cover of every magazine. Our home should look like Trading Spaces was just there. (I miss that show!) We buy the newest pair of designer jeans because then we'll look better and be accepted. We have to eat at this new restaurant because our friend ate there and it was "life changing." We need to meet the man or woman of our dreams, because then, everything will come together for us.

Face it, these things run through your brain constantly. I think them everyday when I am walking through this crazy city. So what do we do when we have these thoughts? We consume. We consume things, clothes, experiences, people, and with every transaction, we become fulfilled, right? If only I could ____, then everything would be perfect.

Think about facebook...how many unflattering pictures do you have up? How many posts do you have about cleaning your bathroom or discovering that your jeans are too tight? We are an image addicted culture, and this is breading so much unhappiness in our lives.

We are essentially sitting ducks. I did some research and we are exposed to about 3,000 advertisements a day. (I think I see probably even more than that in New York City.) How do you avoid them? How do you avoid thinking that your ordinary life isn't dull when "everyone" around you has such an exciting life?

My answer: try to reassess reality because the reality presented to us is FALSE. Don't think you need to have the perfect outfit, relationship, home, job, vacation plans, or body. You're going to be a mess, forever. I believe that God is the only thing that can fulfill me. He needs to be my reality, He loves me, and He is true. Recently, I have realized the more I look inward, spend my time and money on myself, and focus on me, the more unhappy I become. Maybe we all need to take a huge step back, assess our version of reality, and decide if the culture works for us. What is true in your life? What are you investing in? What makes you happy or unhappy within yourself?

We can't avoid the world, but we can strive for contentment in the our own world. Big G loves you so much and His version of reality is true and real. I hope you'll take some time this week to reflect, find a new version of reality, and with it, happiness.

Love to you,
Pastor Katie


  1. Amen! This is just what I needed to hear this morning! Thank you for getting me spiritually-minded this morning. :)

  2. I wish I could visit Apostles! Sounds awesome!

    Great blog, Katie!

  3. actually, it's my favorite place in the city :)

  4. Ugh! Struggling so much with weight right now and this new diet where I haven't had carbs or added sugar. I'm so consumed by losing weight it's ridiculous!! Thank you for your post :)