Tuesday, December 09, 2014

I just wanna be your Friend

There are so many things that I wish I could change in the world. For example... I wish people waiting at a red light could all let their foot off the brake the moment a light changes from red to green, so that we would all get moving a little bit quicker, so that everyone waiting might not be forced to sit through a second red light. You know: the big things.

In all seriousness -- there are many issues in the world that are troubling. That I wish I had the influence to fix. That I sometimes even wish I had the ability to change other people's minds about.

I've come to realize that I'm not the only person who harbors such a wish. Judging by the social media feeds of folks I know, that wish can be so important that it consumes one's identity. And for a distinct but loud minority -- they become absorbed in whatever cause or political ideology that they're willing to lose friends over it.

Doesn't matter what the *it* is. Could be the issue of guns & gun violence, Trayvon Martin/Michael Brown/Eric Garner, Healthcare, or national immigration policy. They're going to post about it. With frequency. And intensity. With an impression of activism to the point that you wonder if you can be that person's friend if you don't subscribe to their worldview.

It's really tempting to wade into those inflammatory waters myself. And for a variety of motives.

Sometimes I wanna take a stand. Something with the world seems wrong, and I wanna stand up for what I sense is right.

Sometimes I wanna educate. There's some issue on which I sense my friends might be ignorant, and I want them to be enlightened. Despite the fact that the subject is probably not one I've studied as much as most policy-makers have -- to know all of the in's and out's, pro's and con's, potential pitfalls, and moral hazards. I mean, really: as if I'm the arbiter of enlightenment...

Sometimes I wanna say "I told you so." At one point in time the spirit of the day leaned on one side of the issue. And now at this point in time that spirit seems foolish. And I just wanna point out how dumb that was. Maybe, to be frank, to make the people who disagree with me feel dumb.

So there are a variety of reasons why I'm tempted to join the fray in cyberspace.

But I've decided to resolve to abstain in 2015.

Starting now, and through at least next December, I'm going to refrain from making political commentary on Facebook. As I've written before, it's really kind of the town square of social media. It's where folks that I know gather. Which is different from other forms of social media. I may gather at a bulletin board to join the dialogue about a special interest. Or I may Tweet about the news on Twitter -- which is almost more of a news aggregator than it is a place to spend time with friends. And then there's Pinterest, and Instagram, and all the others that I'm not hip to yet. But, Facebook... it is where my friends are.

So for the next year you will not have to subscribe to my worldview to be my friend. Hopefully I haven't done too poorly a job of this in the past. But I'm resolving to do my best at this going forward.

This is probably really petty, but if I could change something about the world, I would bring the rest of the world with me on this resolution kicking & screaming. But I cannot. I can only change my own mind about how I broadcast myself into social media. And as for me & my house: we will serve the Lord. At least in terms of being faithful to passages like Titus 3:9 and 2nd Timothy 2:23.

This doesn't mean that I'm going to stop caring about what happens in national affairs & the world. It just means that I'm not going to talk about it on Facebook. I'm not going to make my friends a captive audience for what could be divisive political views. I'm not going to use the platform of our friendship to be inflammatory about any subject in which sides have been staked out & the border lines have been drawn.

For those of you who have been doing this all along: I admire your maturity. And I notice. I don't think that you don't have opinions, or that you don't care about what happens, or that you aren't engaged in things that matter. I just think you are much more measured & self-controlled than most of the rest of the world. And I admire that about you.

So, if we're connected on Facebook, this is my resolution to you going forward: I just wanna be your friend. And if you decide the same, then that's going to make me a very happy friend.

So Happy Hol... Merry Chri...

oh, well. Best wishes to you all


BrownEyed9 said...

I'm so glad you started blogging again.

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