As I was prepping my students for their test today, we reviewed the vocabulary words we recently learned. I told the kids they had to give me a new sentence; one they hadn’t used before. I asked one of my students to give me a sentence for the word America and this is what he said… “America gives guns to children.” I asked the student where he heard that and he said “On the internet.” It sparked my curiosity so I went around the room and asked the kids to tell me something they know about America and where they learned it. Here are their responses,
“American people have many guns.”
“People boom boom and die.”
“People gun to building and people die and Obama angry.”
“Many, many terror.”
Each response was followed by an explanation they had seen or read something on the TV or Internet that gave them this impression. Their words reminded me of the array of questions I’ve gotten every time someone hears I am from Texas. Such as; “Do they really ride down the streets on horses? Is it true everyone has a gun? Is Texas Chainsaw massacre real?” Each question spurred by something the asker of the question had seen on TV or in a movie.
Just as my kids and the other foreigners and Korean’s I’ve met make assumptions based on things they’ve seen through TV and Movies, the same can be happening in regards to my time in Korea.
Since I’ve been here, I’ve heard the following phrase over and over again, “Looks like you’re doing great over there.” I used to get really annoyed when I heard those words, thinking to myself “Stop making an assumption based on what you are seeing in my pictures and FB status’ and ask me how I’m doing.” It’s really easy to smile for the camera, but the smile doesn’t tell you the story in the picture. But the truth is, I am the one responsible for what people are thinking about my life. I am the one posting pictures, FB status’, and blogs.
It hasn’t been easy figuring out how to keep my friends and family updated while trying not to allow Facebook and social media to become an idol in my life. I’m not going to lie, it’s been a challenge. There have been times when I’ve waited to post pictures and such (due to the time difference) aware of when you might actually see it.
When the internet is the only way you communicate with most of the people in your life sometimes it’s the first thing you turn to in the morning. It’s been an area I have had to guard my heart in. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit has been close, convicting and speaking to me when I need to check myself, my pride and my attitude but living life through the lens of the camera isn’t an easy thing to do.