Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace

Monday, May 18, 2015

What CAN I post on Facebook?

 I have been in a dry spell with blogging. No ideas, no inspiration, and major writer's block. Then someone from my church blocked me on Facebook for what I consider pretty dumb reasons, and it led to a blog post. And it has also led to this one. Maybe I need to thank this person.

  The main reason this person has blocked me is because I post a lot about a certain issue. An issue I deal with. An issue that several people I am friends with on Facebook deal with. And this person is the second person to take issue with me posting about this issue. Another person from my church messaged me several months back and took me to task about it. She said some young person might be curious and it could lead them wrong. She also said she would think since I deal with this issue, I would want to get completely away from it and not talk about it at all.

  So last night, I sat there thinking about it. Do I post too much about THAT? Should I stop posting about it? Rarely post about it? Should I care?

  We are all different. There are different things that interest us, different things that are important to us, and to just post things on Facebook that interest everyone and is something everyone wants to see.... that is impossible. I have 458 Facebook friends. There is no way on this earth that I could post things that all 458 want to see and that interest them. With that many different people from different backgrounds, I am going to post things someone doesn't like, things that don't interest some of them, and things that are not important to them.

It happens to me on the other side.
I hate sports, but people post a lot about sports. So should they all stop posting because I was so traumatized as a kid because I was so bad at sports and got bullied and picked on and forced to play sports I was no good at and didn't understand? I get so tired of sports talk, especially around Super Bowl time and silently root for the opposite team that most people are rooting for, in hopes that if their team loses, there will be less talk about it.

I am not an animal lover and weary of posts of people crying about the animals. I am much more concerned about abortion and the way people are treated. Does that mean they should stop posting about animals and just focus on abortion and human trafficking? (Well it wouldn't hurt for them to post occasionally about people stuff)...... but no. They have a right to post about their concerns about animals. (Even if a dog bit me when I was a kid and instilled a life-long fear and dislike of dogs in me)

I don't drink alcohol and think we'd all be better off without it, but I have friends who post a lot about alcohol. Should they stop posting about that stuff because I oppose it and don't drink?

   I hate - really hate - motorcycles, and even did a blog post about how weary I get of being told I need to watch out for them instead of them needing to drive safer and watch out for cars and trucks. I have Facebook friends who are always talking about such things, but they have that freedom. I made the mistake once of commenting "if they are that concerned about safety, they wouldn't ride one" on a friend's post who didn't even own a bike. I immediately got cursed out and threatened to be beaten up by some guys...... it didn't make me look any more fondly on bikers....... but still..... people have a right to talk about motorcycles on Facebook if that interests them. My opinion of them will never change their mind anyway, and I have no right to tell them not to talk about it. I can just roll my eyes and scroll on by.

  Politics are important to me. Issues affecting our families are important to me. Moral issues are important to me. I like encouraging quotes and memes, jokes and humorous pictures, articles about church and relationships with God, Christian fiction and Christian fiction authors, Southern Gospel music, family. Do I expect all 458 of my Facebook friends to just post things that I like and that are important to me? No. A thousand times no. If we go deleting and/or blocking everyone who posts things that we may not like or that does not interest us, pretty soon we'd have no friends. That is what they make the scrolling feature for.... to scroll down through to see things that do interest us. You can also click that the post doesn't interest you, but by all means, scroll.

  People are important. We get so wrapped up in our busy lives and in doing what is important to us, that we overlook people. We tend to gravitate towards people that are just like us. Even churches have cliques where certain people always get together before and after church. If we just surround ourselves in life with those just like us on and off of social media, and who agree with us on everything (is that even possible?!), we will miss out on the possibly of some great friendships. We will miss out on having our ideas challenged, of meeting people who might help us on this journey of life that we are on.

  Life would be boring indeed if we all agreed on everything. Sure, it would be nice if I could scroll down through Facebook and not see post after post about Tom Brady and deflated footballs, of posts telling me how important it is to adopt a dog (you own dogs, you don't adopt them!), of posts about alcohol.... but those things are part of the people's lives and are important to them. What right do I have to expect them to stop because it is something I don't like nor am interested in? If I don't like it, I can scroll on by. Easy enough. I don't have to read those posts.

And the topic my fellow church member didn't like me posting about? I just went through my Facebook friends and counted everyone who either deals with this issue personally, or is married to or closely related to someone who deals with it. That number is up close to 60, and much over 60 if you count every family member I have on Facebook, though most of them likely have no clue what I deal with. Sixty people who that issue is important to. So should I stop posting about it because a few people don't like my posting about it? Should I do a poll on Facebook to see what people prefer me to post about and what they prefer I don't post about?

  To paraphrase a popular saying, you can make all of the people happy some of the time, you can make some of the people happy all of the time, but you can't make all of the people happy all of the time. It holds true on and off of Facebook.

Should we be careful about what we post on Facebook? Of course. Are there ever times we need to block someone? Yes. I blocked a bitter guy who was always slamming my church, and blocked a young guy who was constantly throwing the "F-word" around and defending the use of marijuana, but blocking shouldn't be a knee-jerk reaction to everyone we disagree with, or when people post things we don't like. I have had a few people delete me over my well-deserved criticisms of Barak Obama..... and that is OK...... but if I deleted everyone I disagreed with on something, I'd have a big 0 where it says how many Facebook friends I have.

  The reason we need the freedom of speech, is because not everyone agrees. If we all agreed on everything, there would be no reason for free speech.

  Ever since I found out this person from my church had blocked me, and why, I have been second-guessing myself. I have felt for a long time that God wants to use me in some way because of what I struggle with, which is one reason I have become more open and post about it a lot...... so should I let one person influence me to not do what God wants? And I am not saying God wants me to post everything I have posted about that, yet I have evidence that some of what I have posted has helped and encouraged others in the same boat as me. And others have posted about that issue and encouraged me..... hence my sharing posts.

  Everyone doesn't enjoy seeing pictures of your grandchild's vacation Bible craft, your latest macrame project,  what you had for dinner, what I think of Obama (believe me, I don't post near what I think on that!), what your opinion is of Tom Brady, what book I am reading, what CD you are listening to, why you think sugar is bad, what kind of week I am having, what I want for my birthday (cash and gift cards are always great, and it is May 26..... get to it!), not everyone is a Christian and appreciates Bible verses and Christian memes...... but there are people who do want to see that stuff, and are interested.

  Sure. I'd like to weed out the curse words, the half naked pictures, the sports, the dogs and cats...... but people have as much right to post that stuff as I do to post what I do...... and if we start saying what people can and cannot post...... we are wrong, unless it is something very offensive or wrong.

  Not everyone is going to "like" or comment positively on what we say, and it is narcissistic to want that. But we can keep posting what interests us and try to do it for the right reasons.

  And we should try not to be offensive, I am too outspoken, but I don't say near half of what I think, and it is all too easy to say on line what we would never say in person. It gives us more bravery, if you can call it that, to be more rude and outspoken. So we all need to be careful what we post, but not go to the extremes my mind has been going the last few days wondering and second-guessing. We cannot, and never will please people anywhere we are, and Facebook is no different, so I for one am going to not even try, and let God be my judge and guide. Or at least try to.

  And we could all do better at making friends in real life, and not so many on Facebook...... though I have made some great friends on there and have met them off line.

  And in closing, something to remember: The same person posting those posts about things you are not interested in and get tired of........ they most likely also post things that do interest you and encourage you and brighten your day. 

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