Remona Aly
Monday 28 January 2019 Pause for Thought, BBC Radio 2

God is now following you on Twitter!

God is now following you on Twitter!
Pause for Thought on BBC Radio 2, Zoe Ball Breakfast Show

A few months ago, a notification popped up on my mobile phone saying: ‘God is now following you’ on Twitter.

Chuffed as I was to receive this divine visitation via social media, I wondered – should I follow the Almighty back? At any rate, I was grateful to have one more follower.

Maybe a bit too grateful. You see, I’m the first to admit I risk repetitive thumb strain injury when refreshing my mobile phone screen to see if ANYONE has followed, liked or commented on my post.

I suffer from that terrible social media affliction of seeking validation – I get the itch to find approval, the ache to feel I’m worth something, the hurting to feel loved.

It may have started back in my school days, when I was a lanky youth in desperate need of good – well any – dress sense, but even more desperate for a mean girl to like me. She’d mildly mock me from time to time, but I still wanted to be her friend. Then something switched, maybe I grew up, but the day came when I finally let it go. Inevitably, that’s the day she began to like me. And you know what, I didn’t even need her to.

I came across a blog by a pastor about the cyber perils of being liked enough, and he cited the comedy sports film, “Cool Runnings”. In the film, the coach tells the captain of the bobsleigh team that a gold medal is a wonderful thing, but adds, “If you’re not enough without it, you’ll never be enough with it”.

Beyond the online rat race of recognition, I guess feeling like you’re enough, to like who you are, boils down to one thing – being at peace with yourself. It’s finding the voice inside that says, “You don’t need this. You’re alright”.

I look to the wisdom in the words of 13th century Muslim poet and scholar Rumi, who tells me, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

For me, the task is clear. I’ll try not to place my value in the number of likes or retweets, but let love and contentment find its way in. When I’m in doubt, I’ll look to divine support – after all, God is my biggest follower.