Originally published Wednesday, 03 February 2016.
I looked at this girl, who I thought was my friend. In person, she was fun, inquisitive and giving. Yet, on Facebook, she was straight up opinionated, degrading and arrogant.
Facebook made me want to hate her. It made my sweet-as-pie, good-as-gold, mother friend morph into an under-the-radar malevolent dictator. Suddenly, she was a ruse sent by evil forces, a propagandizer working for unseen purposes and a tyrant sent to take over online rule.
What do you do when the person you like
becomes the person you hate - on Facebook?
When everything wants to make you defriend a good friend?
I wasn't sure what to do.
She was telling people the best food that they should be eating.
She was writing political disclaimers and guidelines.
She was shaming people left and right.
She was boasting about her wise decisions.
She was highlighting stupid things others do.
She was acting holier than thou.
She was pushing agendas, annoyance and aggression onto others.
Who does she think she is?!
And, really, who do I think I am? Look at how I am judging her. Look at how I am hating her. Look at how I am being just as bad as she is. Look at how I am ready to write her off in a split-second.
My anger turns towards Facebook.
4 Ways Facebook Makes you The Person You Don't Want to Be
1. It makes you judge.
"You show off! Political Idiot! Get off your soapbox! You call yourself moral?!"
When we find the wrong in another, far more often than not, it has much to say about the wrong in us.
Seeing all the wrongs in the world, helps us avoid ours.
Finding yourself above another, has never been the way of Jesus.
2. It makes you compare.
I can never be as good looking as her.
He got that job, while I have this one. I stink.
Their kid dresses almost as good as mine. I win.
They have a vacation home. What do I need to do to make that happen.
When all you see is another's beautiful selfie, it makes your self feel like crud. Never once has stacking yourself against another added an inch of height to anyone. They only thing added is discouragement.
3. It makes you talk like that person.
That person (Choose an answer):
b. Posted a selfie
c. Liked that TV show
d. Raved and ranted like an ignorant fool
e. Got opinionated
f. Wants to vote for ______.
g. Is self-absorbed.
When you look for the bad in another, you find it. When you see bad, you start thinking bad. When you start thinking bad, you start speaking bad, and before you know it, your just like them.
4. It makes you jealous beyond compare.
That person is downright successful. I must be too.
That person is sick. Finally something not-so-god happens in their seemingly perfect life.
That person is thin. In a few years they will gain weight like me. Either way, wrinkles are bound to get 'em.
Jealousy steals happy, ties him up and holds him for ransom.
"Get yourself to where that person is or you will never get happy back!"
We won't get tied up by jealousy if
we choose to wrap ourselves
in thanks for what we already have.
Am I telling you that Facebook is evil, horrible and not Christian?
Of course not. It is not outside forces that pre-set holy, it is our internal force of the heart.
Nobody is forcing me on Facebook. No one is forcing you either. This is not the point.
The point is that if you can't make your way onto this platform without continually landing on an altar of frustration, you should find yourself another place to be.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Phil. 4:8
What does Facebook viewing make your mind view?
What you look at is what you think of, what you think of - is what you become.
For me, I am making a decision to "bounce" on Facebook. Meaning: I'll allow myself to see updates, but I won't land on their personal page to dissect every nook and cranny of wrong. I'll try to give others the benefit of the doubt, rather than doubting they were good. I'll remember what I love about them, rather than letting an online update become their DNA. I'll try to see them through God's eyes, rather than seeing them through a machine where all show best-self.
It's a process. It's a journey.
Will I always do it well? Doubtful.
Will they? Doubtful.
And maybe that is the point.
We are all learning, but the only one I can change is me. The only way to change is to do something different. The only way to find God, is to seek him. So, I will try my best and see how it goes.
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