All my friends are awful.
That was what I thought when I briefly escaped Instagram last week for a minute, despite the fact that I have an absolute rule not to watch social media even in the summer. It turned out that what I saw is a series of altered photos, instantly aging, for example, a twenty-five-year-old man who virtually becomes a man of eighty-five.
It was the business of FaceApp, downloaded by more than 100 million people.
A few days after this buzz, reports were published about the serious privacy concerns surrounding the Russian developer of this app and the rough terms and conditions that most people mindlessly check out. Still, for most people, the app was a fun diversion.
And I wonder why we like that.
New York Times, author Nicci Gerrard Noted: “FaceApp proves that we cannot resist the temptation to take a look at our decline, and yet we regard these images as speculative, unrealized and therefore unreal fiction. " who we are. Our younger stories are still part of us, while our old man does not yet exist.
And, in fact, our old self may never exist.
That's why people are intrigued by "old-fashioned" images of what John F. Kennedy or Marilyn Monroe would have looked like if they had lived beyond their glamorous prime.
FaceApp suggests a kind of mystery, as if the photo of Dorian Gray was not in an attic but exposed to the world. Laughter breaks out when we look at these images of people we know and think: "It does not look like him!" Of course, if all goes well, something like this will look like him, in fact, you and me.
We share the need for a scenario of our lives.
Nonetheless, I think the main reason we are drawn to apps like this less is because of our denial of our own future aging, as we need a scenario of our lives.
Recently, I told a friend that one of my biggest regrets about my life and my ministry so far is the time I have spent worrying about things that don't matter. If I could go back to my 16-year-old character, or in turn to the 36-year-old, I would say, "What worries you now is robbing you of the joy of the present moment." Don't worry everything will be fine. “My friend said, 'So what do you think your future 60-year-old self would say to you now? "
My response was that I'm sure he would say the same. The difficulty is not knowing if this is true, but rather not having the prospect.
I do not know what will happen, how I do it with my young self and my past decisions.
Looking back I can overcome any fears about what's going on around the corner because I can see around the corner and it is, at best, good and, at worst, possible. to survive. I said, “If I only had this prospect of my future self, I told my friend, I'm confident I wouldn't be anxious. "
Of course, life means that such a prospect is not possible.
But FaceApp can give us the illusion of a resolute personal intrigue.
It seems that your old man looks at you, as if to say: "I am wrinkled and gray, but I am still standing and always smiling, and always you. Whatever you fear, life goes on and everything will be fine.
Our future self is resolved in life, death, resurrection and reign in Christ.
My problem is not that I wish I had something like this, but that I forget that I actually have something like this, except better. the Bible reveals that Jesus is the "firstborn from the dead" (Collar. 1: 18). Our stories are resolved in the life, death, resurrection, and ongoing reign of Christ. The apostle Paul teaches that our lives are “hidden with Christ in God” (Collar. 3: 3).
By the Spirit we can see by faith the risen Jesus, seated at the right hand of God. It means that we can see our future, if we are united with it.
And Jesus, nailed down and triumphant, doesn't worry about anything. Everything will be alright.
The FaceApp mania is almost over, even now, but there will be something else like it, and it will be, like this, a fun momentary distraction. But remember: you don't need to see a future self. Your future self is crucified and grafted into the life of Jesus Christ. If you live long enough, you'll look as haggard and decrepit as technology can build for you, and maybe even worse.
But focus on a little longer term than that. On the other side of your coming decline, there is a youth and vitality that yourself (past, present and future) might not even imagine if you tried. And your future self will look at your photographs of your most triumphant and energetic moments of your youth and say, "Can you believe I have ever looked so old?"
Photo credit: © GettyImages / nuiiko