In our everyday lives we have multiple interactions with others, some inside the Church and some outside the Church. We are involved with social media in various forms for politics, religion, music, social issues and we often retreat into that while missing the biggest opportunity for growth.
We sometimes get to feeling like we OWN some particular piece of social media. Bottom line is, the “owner” of our Facebook page is not us but rather the guy that owns that company. He proves that day in and day out by suspending accounts, refusing to allow clerical titles calling them false names, and many other ways. He and his company are simply censoring the content that he wants us to see. If the company decides it is “fake news” because the owner disagrees with it then they censor it or delete the posting.
The Christian life is not supposed to be that way. King Solomon said “I As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17 NKJV
For iron to sharpen iron, some friction must occur. That isn’t a bad thing. Sometimes we learn HOW to say something because it “rubs the wrong way” and as we learn we grow. When I learn how to do something, it might be new to me, it might be of use to others, and asking others if they know how to accomplish something will elicit responses that bring new ideas.
When someone posts something on social media, it is like being in a big room with many people talking. Small groups form, and as you walk through the room you hear what others say. Then there are people sharing, repeating, what someone says.
Some people want to rant, we all have friends that on social media just want to rant. They want their time on the soapbox. They think whatever they’re ranting about is so important that everyone needs to pay attention but they do NOT want any responses.
Some people present the attitude that what they post on social media is their mission in life. The people on their friend list NEED their wisdom and anyone that would try to add to that or ask a question is not worthy to comment.
When you write on Facebook you are not writing your own blog. Yes you can block comments, you can delete comments that you don’t like but seriously, you are in a big room talking and others might actually have insight that you are missing. You are not a sage that has all the wisdom of God. You might have a purpose in stating a fact, quoting something but to limit others’ comments often puts you in an echo chamber. You only hear or see the things that you agree with. Being honest with ourselves there are avenues for that.
Blogs, like this one, are ways for in-depth discussions of what the writer wants to say. This is why I like to write things that occur in my religious life. I’m not perfect, I get it wrong a great deal, but I put myself out there and let others take their best shot. I’m not here writing to debate the issues. I simply put it out there and expose how I feel, what I have experienced and what I learned.
When I finish an article for this blog, I share it on Facebook and in that environment people can discuss and debate the article if they choose. It does not diminish the ideas in the article nor does it threaten my belief structure, it is just a forum where I can share what I have learned.
If you like to post stuff on Facebook so that you can feel good or fulfilled by all your friends agreeing with you then accept the fact that others have equally valid observations about the subject you posted. You might not be the all-knowing sage which you think you are. You might need to hear additional insight.
Lately, politics has colored everything. It depends on what source of information one uses, what they believe. The term “fake news” gets thrown around and no one listens to each other. That is fine because the reality is our opinions do not matter to the politicians. They only care if we vote for them. Most of what we say is meaningless and no one will change opinions based on what someone says on Facebook.
Religion is often the same way, no one will change their opinion by what they read on Facebook.
Blogs give us an extended time to express ourselves. You can open up your heart, and mind, express your feelings, talk about what you have learned, and others can comment if they want to but it truly is YOUR space. You own your blog and can even refuse comments. Everyone knows that going in.
Great Lent is approaching. Soon many Christians will be fasting, using time that ordinarily is focused out for introspection. Many choose to even withdraw from social media in this time. That might be a good idea. At least, if we are seeking enlightenment from God, being away from Facebook and contentious people or subjects.
If you have insight, feel free to share, it’s how we learn.