One of the more interesting aspects of Facebook is our greater capacity to learn a wee bit more about what a person is really made of – what makes them tick and what happens when filters turn off and gloves go on. I know that even with my own posts, I have sometimes marveled at what I feel is relevant or even appropriate to share in a public setting. While honesty is good, discernment still reigns.
Recently a FB friend posted something that stirred up a great deal of dialogue. The follow up post was one about pride and an unwillingness to change. It was one of those moments when I had to sit back and again reflect on why I am putting myself out into the world of social media in the first place. And, to remember that before FB, we could still all be friends, so we certainly don’t “need” to be on there together now in order to maintain relationship. In fact, in some cases, NOT being connected in such a forum might actually save it.
Like spending time with a bunch of crazies in college, social media has the capacity to accelerate our deeper understanding of who people really are. We gain a more revealing glimpse into their world; are they glass-half-full or empty people? Do they choose negativity over grace? Is life a bowl of cherries, or a succession of tragic events as the universe proves they are the sole recipient of all the bad luck in the world…
Over the years I have chosen to delete some people, to hide others. While some might feel it’s harsh or overreactive, here are some of the reasons why.
1. People who choose to live in a constant state of toxicity are free to do so, and I can love you in small doses. But a daily jolt of acid into my own world robs me of my peace. So, I love from a distance. Without knowing who you blasted yesterday in a public arena, I can still give you an authentic hug the next time I see you.
2. Whiny, daily posts about the endless struggles you face are mildly reminiscent of my ongoing attempts to remind my children that there are starving people all over the world and children being aborted, murdered, raped, beaten and sold daily. While we all face struggles, and they are very real, I struggle to have the grace I desire when I know you have a crisis every single day.
3. When your political, societal or spiritual views are in opposition to mine, AND are the central focus of your daily conversation, I need to bid adieu. While we are all free to our opinions, and I know many of you don’t like mine, either, I get too fired up when the obvious goal is to put all your energy into changing my mind, or proving me wrong. At this point, I just start to think you a bit of an ass. I really, really, want to like you and to honor who you are and what you believe, so I allow myself the occasional trip down your wall on days when I feel capable of being gracious.
I am sure there are more, but really, I just want to live in peace, guard what comes in to my home, my heart, and my interactions with all of God’s kids. At the end of the day, Facebook is just Facebook, but relationships and love are precious. Protect them at all cost.