Beyond the Screens

Caleb Johnston, New Plymouth FFA

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I want you to do something that is likely already instinctual for you: hop on Facebook and scroll for 5 posts, then do the same with Instagram. What did you see? I just did this myself and here’s the breakdown. For Facebook I saw a motivational video (Miss Erica Baier nonetheless), a story of a girl who almost died from vaping, a couple celebrating their 26th anniversary, a crazy play that happened during Sunday Night Football, and an ad for a club calf sale (I’m a livestock junkie what can I say, it’s easy to appreciate good ones no matter the species). Instagram showed me a post regarding Pitt Hopkins Syndrome research, two people’s “last hurrah” vacations, a hike in beautiful nature, and a sappy post about how someone’s significant other is “literally my entire world” and that they couldn’t imagine what life would be without them. It’s likely your results were not the exact same as mine, but I would bet my entire life savings ($68.21 to be exact) that nearly each one followed a pattern.

We see the insane athleticism of professional athletes, the unmatched beauty of models, the “perfect” family moments, and the noble efforts of those dedicating their lives to a cause. While we do what? We sit there and think things like, “There’s no way I’ll ever be that athletic.” “I wish I was that beautiful.” “I’m never going to be able to do that much good in the world.” Social media has turned life into a world of polar opposites where you either can do something extraordinary or something terrible happened; anything in the middle is obsolete.

I’m here to tell you nothing could be further from the truth. Firstly, those outliers that we see all the time on social media represent less than 1% of the world’s population and less than 1% of life’s moments, so statistically it’s so unlikely that ANY of us fall into those groups. Secondly, I’m here to tell you that your worth as a person DOES NOT come from your abilities, status, or features. The people that have the greatest impact are some of the most normal appearing people you will ever meet. These secretly amazing humans focus on what small, intentional actions they can take each day to have a positive influence on those around them and their current situation.

What are you unsatisfied with? Which area of life do you find yourself complaining about the most? Where do your biggest hurts lie? After you answer these questions, ask yourself, “What things are in my control to affect this? What actions can I take today to make progress in this area?” 

Life is about progress, not perfection. Consider the people that have helped shape you into the person you are today. They are not celebrities. They are not models or star athletes. They are not perfect. They are normal looking people that are secretly amazing. Think about what things you can do to make the world a better place beyond social media. We can all be secretly amazing.

Caleb, thank you for sharing about something so relevant to our society and encouraging our members to be their own kind of amazing. Our association thinks you are an AMAZING human. Good luck this fall as you represent Idaho as our National Officer Candidate.