I consider myself to be a fairly self-actualized person. I try and live an examined life. Therefore, I am well aware of situations in which I behave in a manner that is petty or immature. This might be one of those times. You be the judge.
Facebook is a plague.
No really. It is an epic waste of time. It encourages some really unhealthy voyeuristic tendencies in people, myself included. And for some reason, it compels me to stay in touch with people with whom I have nothing in common and don't particularly like.
I would like to take a moment and point out something important I feel I have learned in the last year or so... There are some people in this world that I will not like. I don't have to like everyone. I feel that I need to be respectful of others, treat them with kindness, show love in what I do, etc. However, it is unrealistic for me to expect that I can like everyone. I just don't think it's possible (or necessary).
So, back to Facebook. I like that it is a nice way to keep in touch with friends and family. I like status updating. It is fun to try and record bits of my day into a two sentence soundbite that makes me sound engaging. BUT... it is also a terrible plague on humanity. It has the potential to ruin relationships (insert statistic about marriages being broken up over FB affairs here), and it is prime breeding ground for misunderstanding, misreading and misguiding a person's perception of others. I actually had a friend stop speaking to me for some time because i posted an update about my support of government health care. More than that, she actually REMOVED me from her FB friends list. Since turn-about is fair play, I also deleted a friend for a fairly significant period of time because he posted what I found to be incredibly offensive political cartoons. Have you ever been deleted? I mean...Wow. Burn. (Side note: We are friends again and cleared up this FB-related crisis in our friendship)
Since then, I have actually tried to tone down my political activism via Facebook. Frankly, I find it to be an exercise in futility. And it usually pisses me off. I think this is one of the best things I have ever seen about the FB political scene... And since trying to reduce my own spew of political rhetoric via the social network, I have also tried to stop being drawn in to other's political rhetoric. It isn't always easy. I should really stop reading posts and comments that I know will inevitably make my blood boil, but I'm like a moth to the flame over here. I can't resist a little adrenaline-pumping argument. But today...well... this just takes the cake. And I can't even BRING myself to comment on it!
A "friend of mine," who I assume does not read my blog (or if he does, I am sure will be deleting me ASAP) and whom I have considered deleting on many occasion, posted the following status update today:
If you were President of the USA, in your opinion, what is the greatest challenge facing Americans and what is your solution? I'd like to know!
Now there are the normal answers... education, the deficit, and one guy who just had to get a dig in at the "immorality" that plagues us and how we are a God-less nation (very 700 Club stuff)... But then I saw this response:
The deterioration of the family. And since money talks, let there be a financial reward - tax right-off or something along those lines - for attending church on Sundays - or Saturdays - or what fits the schedule - as a family. Once a person's butt is in the chair, it's then God's responsibility to touch their life!
OH. EMM. GEE.
I could start by pointing out some of the more obvious flaws with this, namely the spelling of "W-R-I-T-E" v. "R-I-G-H-T" but that's not really important, is it? Not nearly as important as the LUDICROUS NOTION that she has put forth. We should get a tax write-off for going to church as a family? Pay people to go to church and once their "butt is in the chair" leave God alone to fix the "deterioration of the family"? I am at a complete and TOTAL loss as to HOW IN THE WORLD it could ever improve the quality of "family" in this nation by providing a tax credit for attending church?! It seems like a quick way to further deteriorate the church. It is...a bastardization of...everything. I mean, this messes with everything I believe to be good. And at first, I thought it was funny in that, "Isn't she stupid?" kind of way. But it has been eating at me all day. This is WRONG. It is wrong that she thinks this, and wrong that there are probably a LOT of people who agree with her. I have a tendency to think in large spirals where I start at a single point, and don't stop until i don't even know who I am anymore, and this is a prime example of that. It started with someone saying something pretty dumb on Facebook, and has ended with me stewing angrily in front of my computer, thinking about how wounded the Body of Christ is becoming. It isn't even enough that ugliness and judgment and hatred run rampant in our churches, we should now pay people to participate in them? And then assume that this would, in some way, HELP matters?
I have to assume that I am completely over-reacting to the whole thing. But I am worried. I am worried about who we are becoming, as a church, as a society, as citizens of the world. I think this attitude in indicative of my why I worry. I mean...Oh...oh, no. Just...No. That's just wrong.