Why I Am No Longer A Regular On Facebook.

facebook-closed-march-15-2011A good defense is better than a good offense, but when someone is offended, no defense is sufficient.  There may be some exceptions to that last one, but from what I have been seeing on-line lately, there aren’t very many.  The offended are growing in number every day, and we still have nine months left before an election!  It’s only going to get worse before all sensitivity shifts because of the new players on the board.

Be it politics, sports, lifestyle choices, food choices, pictures, or language, there is always something for someone to be offended by, and there has never been a better avenue for polarizing opinions offending beliefs and hurting feelings than Facecrack.  Millions of people world-wide agree!  They must, or they wouldn’t spend so much time arguing about it there.

For the last few months I have been thinking that my time on Facebook is going to come to an end, and I think it happened today. I have stated as recently as last week that I am probably going to shuffle off for reasons of my own, and today it just became apparent to me that it is time.  I don’t know that anyone will really care if I am gone, or why I left, but I thought I would at least give my reasons so people won’t be offended by my not providing a reason. So, here they are in no particular order:

I get offended too. – When I read through some of the stuff I see written out there it makes me angry that people can actually think that way.  It make some want to set them straight and shake them out of their misbegotten ways.  If they blatantly attack me for my beliefs I want to lash out at them in return.  How dare they, right?  Right?  Anyone out there?  Am I the only one that feels this way?

I want to defend people. – Sometimes I see someone getting ganged up on by people who are offended by something that might have been said in a completely benign manner.  Poor guy could just be making a comment about something that just brought him a moment of joy, but here come the naysayers.  It crosses my mind that this guy can use a little help, and I like to help an underdog, so I should wade in and help him out, right? Right?  Am I the only one on this too?

I get misunderstood. – I gotta own a part in this.  I’m a weird guy sometimes, and I might say something that only a few people in my audience will understand, and I do that without thinking.  I’ve had a few Facecrack flare-ups from stuff just like that.  A simple joke in front of the wrong audience can be very offensive.  I’m not blaming the audience.  When I post without thinking about who I could offend, that is my fault.

It is getting harder to do the right thing. – Today I was ready to make a rebuttal that could have been hurtful.  I had it all written and just before I hit send, I realized I was doing this for the wrong reasons.  My goal was not to clarify anything, or to help someone see my side of things, I just wanted to take  minute and rub someone’s nose in something.  Just before I hit send, I heard the rabbi Lou asking me, “Is this being right or doing right?”  I deleted it instead.  It wasn’t easy, but I did it.

I don’t want to hurt people. – It seems that in today’s social networking, skin has gotten pretty thin.  Some of that might be due to the increased time people are spending in an environment that frankly, is toxic!  So much negativity exists on timelines and walls, and while it was intended to bring people together, it seems to drive people further apart.  I’ve been involved in a few of those little battles, and I have unintentionally hurt some people, and I want to avoid that in the future.

I want to be a positive person. – I gave up talk radio a few years ago because of how it always left me feeling like it was time for an argument.  So much doom and gloom, tragedy, muck-raking and mud-slinging takes place on talk radio, and Facecrack isn’t really much better. Actually it is worse.

I am just offended by how much Facecrack offends me. – I guess the main thing I want people to understand is the that I am not stepping out of Facecrack because I am offended by anyone.  It’s not the posts, it is the effect Facecrack has on me.  It’s not the people, it is the way it hurts relationships.  It’s not the time wasted, it is my desire to be a better steward with my time.  I’m not ignoring friends, I’m trying to avoid a lot of cross-posted negativity.

So, this is what I am planning to have as my Facecrack presence:

  • I will no longer be checking into Facecrack several times every day.  I will check in two nights per week.
  • I’ll still post my blog on Facecrack if anyone is still interested in reading it.  While comments to the blog can be done on the bottom of any of the posts, I know some will feel more comfortable commenting on the Facecrack feed, and that is the main reason I will be checking a couple days per week.
  • As far as social media goes, I will be on Instagram, and possibly Twitter.
  • I plan to write more, and about more things.  Maybe even start working on that book I want to put together.

I’ve seen people drop off Facecrack without telling anyone why, and since this idea started to form in my mind, I have been hoping that I would be able to share in a respectful way, the reasons I am pulling back.  I pray I have not offended anyone with this post, as I have thought a lot about what I wanted to say, and how I wanted it to be heard.  I hope that was clear in my words.

This has been a hard choice, but a choice to be Relentless in my pursuit of building and maintaining right relationships with God, my family, my friends, and everyone else.  I want to put the things that cause me to stumble away as I try to live a Relentless Life for God.  I hope to hear from you all from time to time.

In HIS Grip,

Tom

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As For Me…

 

10455157_10152594570874022_1317384162455803489_nI posted this picture the other day. It was a pic I shared from a Facebook page, and it got some attention from some of my friends. A few of them “liked” it, and some others mentioned it to me as I went through the rest of my week. There were a couple folks that seemed to not like it, and I got the idea they thought I might have been a little “preachy”.

When I saw the picture, my thought was simply that it was cool! I love the way that Rough Cut Men put these slides together, and I like to let my friends see them. A couple things happened that have made me think about that pic a little more though. I’d like to share if you have the time.

Today I was “confronted” or you could say “battered” or “assaulted” with some stuff on Facebook from a couple of friends that I know are believers. The content was not appropriate for public viewing, and was definitely not something that a Christian should be putting out there. It made me sad. I wasn’t angry. I was just saddened by the message and how it reflects back to a believer’s relationship with Christ.

I think back to the old quote,

Presentation1Before anyone gets upset, let me introduce myself. My name is Tom. I am a sinner. I was born a sinner. I will die a sinner. I try not to sin as much as I used to, but I still do it. I do wrong things, say wrong things, and I think wrong things. This is who I am, and as a result of that, I am not looking down my nose in judgment of anyone.

I am a sinner, but I am a redeemed sinner. That redemption does not keep me from sinning, but if I am living a life of Relentless Growth, then the redemption should make me more sensitive to the sin in my life, and more sensitive to the harm it has in other’s lives as well. Even more, it should make me see that engaging in wrong behavior is going to keep me from growing in Christ and could damage the work of the gospel because of my example.

So, why does this picture mean more to me now? Because we live in a very “social” world today. To many people we know, our identity is made up of Facebook posts, Twitter, tweets, and Instagram photos. In these bursts of communication through social media, we are showing what matters most to us, what is on our hearts and minds, what drives us, what we like, support, and identify with.

For some, that will be selfies, fluffy kittens, jokes, or food. Those things aren’t wrong, but are they your identity? What about the content that you like or share? Do we take notice of where we are getting things, and what they contain?

I know there are people who flee the world of social media because they see it as a cesspool of humanity. They are wrong. It isn’t a cesspool. It can be a dark room to be sure, but all a dark room needs is light.

I want my presence in social media to be one of light. My goal is to make people think with the words that I use and the things that I post. Not to make me look good, remember, I’m not! I just want to use these avenues as opportunities to help push back the dark a bit. It’s a battle worth fighting.

So, I guess I would like to make a request, a challenge, and announce a goal.

Request – if I say something in my posts either here or in any other form of social media that you feel would pull people from a Relentless pursuit of a relationship with Christ, CALL ME ON IT! Let me know somI can pull it down. I don’t want to be a stumbling block.

Challenge – Join me! Make today the day that you look at your media presence as an opportunity to serve God and push back the dark in a place that desperately needs it! You might lose a couple “friends” but your cousin’s English teacher’s nephew was probably not a close friend anyway, and you might even show some friends something worth seeing, a Relentless Life in Christ!

Goal – Here is where things might get rough. If I have something come across my wall that has that potential to pull me from Christ, and I know you are a believer, I will message you privately and ask you to consider it. Your call if you want to pull it down, but I want to at least ask you to consider it. I may be unpopular after that, but If I am a friend, I need to do it.

Presentation2I want to serve God. The picture is a modern version of this verse from Joshua.  At the end of his life, he laid down this challenge to the people of Israel.  A challenge that echoes through the centuries to us today:

Relentless Growth requires us to look at things with different eyes. We need to challenge the norms of society and we can do that by redeeming the things that others may use to tear people down. So, how about it? Who wants to join me?

Relentless Growth -> Grow Deep -> Grow Strong