A Confederacy of Facebook Dunces

I really thought I’d be able to do it, but Facebook is ridiculous, and I’m thinking about deleting my profile once again.

It all started with a post that began, “This is why we will never step foot into a church building again.”

In all fairness, I maybe should have let that pitch go by, but my thought was that if one of my Christian friends said that in real life, I wouldn’t have just let it go by. Also, I had been thinking about this friend a lot, praying for her, and trying to figure out how to serve her. She was a primary focus on my mind for a few weeks and I was going on to Facebook to message her and ask her if she wanted to grab coffee sometime, but her post was just sitting there on my feed, and I thought responding to that post was a far less contrived way to serve her, and I thought God maybe did a little work there with the timing.

So, to paraphrase a long conversation, I was like, hey – maybe you should be careful about saying that. I get the feeling behind it, but that’s really not going to help anyone. Public church-bashing isn’t something you should be doing.

Then, I thought, hey – it’s probably better to have this conversation in private, so I messaged the friend, and we talked one-on-one. Still, there was one comment I’d made that was already free to the public, and that’s the part that quickly unraveled into a scenario where a man I actually don’t even know urged me to stop my sexual sin and come to Christ, which, for those of you who know me even a little know that’s a comical thing because I’m not having sex. I haven’t seriously dated anyone OR even kissed anyone since 2004. I’m the real-life 30-year-old-virgin. He could have identified a different sin and been spot-on probably, but he chose the one that made him completely absurd and wrong. And if that’s how he acts towards a Christian woman he’s never met, I’m terrified to consider what he would say to some of the people I love and have been praying for… I’m worried he might hold up a sign that says, “God hates fags!” His assumptions and judgments of me are exactly the kind of thing that causes the world to look at us (Christians) and think we’re mean idiots. I actually had the thought in the midst of long-winded self-aggrandizement: “I wish just a few of the non-believing liberals I worked with were around; they’re so much nicer than these Christians. I bet one of them would give me a hug.”

I wish that isn’t what I thought.

Then, there was a picture of a dead bear that someone posted. I’m not an animal rights activist. I’ve recently decided to stop eating pigs, mostly for health and partly for the depressed pigs Lori told me about, but I’m really not opposed to humans killing animals in certain circumstances. When I watch Naked and Afraid, I’m almost rooting for the vegetarians to get the nerve to kill animals with their bare hands… and yet, I don’t want to see pictures of dead bears on Facebook. I don’t want to see some kid posing with the bear he killed, touching it, feeling proud. Bears are majestic. I’d kill one if it was a me-or-him scenario, for sure, but I’ve recently decided the phrase “for sport” really means “for fun,” and I’m not okay with killing anything for fun.

Then there are all of the people arguing about gun control because of the church shooting. There’s “Obama is a moron!” and there’s “If he didn’t have a gun, he couldn’t have shot anybody!”

All I can think is: “I wish that kid who shot the bear hadn’t had a gun,” which doesn’t at all indicate anything about my stances on gun control… but I want to give that bear back his life and I want to unsee the picture of his lifeless body. I wish that bear was roaming free in the wilderness, with its bear family, minding its bear business.

I also want to give the shooting victims back their lives. I wish those people in the church could roam free with their families, minding their business.

But I don’t think stricter gun laws will really fix that. I think humans have become weird and we do weird things, like shooting people and bears to entertain ourselves. It doesn’t make me feel better about death to debate about it online.

With all of this inundating me, and aside from my fear that my dad might read this and realize I’m no longer a Republican, all I can think is, “What the hell am I doing in such a ridiculous place? I’ve got some guy I don’t even know, who has been married since 2001 and knows very little of what it’s like to be single into adulthood and remain sexually pure, telling me to stop having the sex I’m not having… which, if we’re honest, I’m really tempted to have, and it’s only by the grace of God that I haven’t had it. I’ve got a picture of some kid I’ve never met stroking a dead bear, forcing itself into my feed right above a video of a baby bear playing with an adorable wolf cub…

and why can’t we all just get along like the baby animals?”

Some time went by, and, after 60-something, all SUPER long comments on the church thread, the girl who made the original post made a follow-up post that started with, “Well, that was fun, but it’s time to let people off the hook now.”

Wait, what was fun? Were you in the same conversation I was? That was not fun. That sucked.

Then came a thinly veiled insult that claimed all of the responders to the original post were spiritually inferior because she’d intentionally tricked us by initially posting something she knew was false because she wanted to get all of us to quote the Bible. We didn’t quote it enough, though, so she was disappointed. Then, when a dude who was in his sixties wrote something in response (he was super gracious throughout both threads) she implied that he’s a lazy Christian… She’s younger than I am, and yet went at a man twice her age… Really?!

I’d like for Facebook to work because I enjoy the pictures of sunsets and the videos of Cpt. Piccard arguing with Darth Vader about whether Star Wars or Trek makes more sense. I also just don’t like explaining to people why I don’t have a profile.

But I don’t think I can take it. Facebook is such a weird place, and I’m tired of removing people from my feed because they keep posting ish that’s weird or heartbreaking. By the time I’m done blocking people, all I’m going to have left is my friend from work who travels all over the place with his partner, taking pictures of birds. Because he is way less offensive than everyone else.

Maybe I’ll just do Instagram, but then, I’d have to get comfortable taking selfies, which is also a really weird thing.


What’s a girl to do?


5 thoughts on “A Confederacy of Facebook Dunces

  1. I have joined a bunch of positive pages on facebook and allow them to fill my newsfeed with lots of uplifting stuff. Seems to work for me. There have been times, though, before I did this, that I needed a break from facebook from time to time. Completely understandable. My daughter has deleted her profile and enjoys it because, as she says, now people have to actually call her and talk to her if they want to catch up with her.

      • I follow public pages that are positive. Here are a few: Brave Girls Club, Happiness in Your Life, Circles of Inspiration, Romancing Your Soul, and Elizabeth Gilbert. I have joined two public groups: International Thomas Merton Society and Self Help Blogs to Transform Your Life. These fill my newsfeed with positive messages to start my day. I often share one or two on my own facebook page to inspire my friends. Hope this helps. 🙂

  2. Great post! I am a part of like 3 Great Pyrenees and Newfoundland dog groups that fill my news feed. I find it more fun to look at dogs who belong to people that I don’t know than the hateful, crap people post. 🙂

    • I subscribe to the Luna Shoes stuff, the Daily Star, and the NY Times… I need some other ones to subscribe to… maybe Tucson Roller Derby or Tucson Dodge ball… or something with pictures of food and recipes.

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