Icebergs vs Ocean Liners

Andy Crouch on why we need most of our life to be private and personal, rather than public.



How to break screen addiction


Andy Crouch on why we need most of our life to be private and personal, rather than public.

Andy Crouch answers the question: “Social media has made us all ‘public’ people. We know we’re on show in front of the world and we want recognition and approval from people. What is it doing to our souls to be on show all the time? 

Suggested Activities: 

  1. Think-Pair-Share:
    1. What is your initial reaction to the video?
    2. Where would you put yourself on this scale from iceberg to ocean liner?
    3. Do you feel the pressure to publicise your life on social media for the approval and recognition of others? If so, where do you think this pressure is coming from?
    4. Which parts of your life would you put into the following categories?
  2. Read the short column ‘Khloé, Instagram, and Losing Control.’
    1. What is your reaction to Khloé’s action here? Does her explanation resonate with you?
    2. Do you agree with the quote from Tim Keller: “To be known and not loved is our greatest fear”?
    3. What do you think of the solution the column proposes?
  3. Creatively respond to the idea that real life comes from not being on show all the time (this could be via a drawing, image, poem, song, short story, drama, etc.)


You probably have heard that with icebergs, 80% of their mass is underwater, invisible – you just see the little top of the iceberg. And as it turns out, ocean liners – like, cruise liners – 80% of the structure is above the water. And what social media has done is turn all of us from icebergs into ocean liners, where most of our life is on display. The problem is, in your life, you’re going to hit icebergs. You’re going to hit real challenges, real pain, real loss, real suffering, and the testimony of maritime history is when an ocean liner meets an iceberg, the iceberg wins. You actually want to be an iceberg. You want 80% of your life to be hidden, not to be public, not to be visible. So, I’m a pretty public person in terms of what my job is, even if I weren’t on social media. And I’ve realised that I need a whole part of my life that’s truly private, that is, it’s truly done in secret. This is my life of prayer, this is my life of rest, this is my life of exercise, this is my life of practising my instruments – the musical instruments I play. And then I need a part of my life that I would call personal, which is done with other people but in-person, not done for display, not done for the world to see. And this is my life of friendship – of real friendship – of conversation, of accountability for the things that I care most about. And then I need to be very careful about that little 20% part that I show and thinking about how to be intentional about being truthful, being faithful, having integrity in what I show to the world. But you want 80% of your life to be out of sight, because real life comes from a hidden place.