I’ve recently been reminded of why I hate Facebook so much and why I got completely off of it (deleted my account) many years ago. People love using it to vomit their opinions in a passive-aggressive way that they claim is them doing what’s right, what their conscience demands of them, when really they just want everyone else to know that what they believe, whether politically, religiously, socially or personally is absolute truth and anyone who doesn’t believe the same is a pathetic low-life who deserves to be trampled under the refuse of guilt and shame. Now these people will act like they are all open-minded and they aren’t trying to be aggressive or make others feel bad, but I’m telling you—that’s bull*#@%! In my opinion. Insert smiling emoji now!
The truth is that you are making people feel bad, and you know it. You know you’re creating controversy, you know you’ll anger people, you know you’ll start a fight and you don’t care because YOU ARE RIGHT, and anyone who doesn’t agree with you is an idiot. My question is, why? Why do you care so much about what other people believe? Just because someone believes differently than you doesn’t mean they aren’t educated, it doesn’t mean they don’t care, it doesn’t mean they haven’t done any research themselves, and it certainly doesn’t mean they are wrong. Maybe they are actually more educated, care more and have done more research than you have. Maybe we’re just all different. And maybe that’s okay. So why start the conflict? Why not show love and compassion for EVERYONE instead?
I came across a scripture tonight while reading with my kids that I feel applies. In my religion as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we have a book of scripture called The Book of Mormon. In it we learn that, after Christ was resurrected, He visited people who lived in what is now the American continent. One of the very first things Christ taught the people was that contention is of the devil. In 3 Nephi chapter 11 verse 29 He says Satan is the one who, “stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.” In verse 30 Jesus continues, “Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away.” Facebook, lately, has been full of people who want to “stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another.”
Now I completely understand being passionate about what you believe in and wanting to share that, but this contentious way is not the right way. I know because that’s the way I went about it when I was a young, arrogant girl at college. Thank goodness I grew up! And thank goodness I learned that using your passion in the wrong way doesn’t change minds, it doesn’t build up, it doesn’t include. It does the opposite. It hardens people, it cements their own opinions, it tears down, it excludes and it causes anger, which is not Christ’s way.
Facebook has been a great tool in getting the word out about my blog here. In fact that’s the only reason I even got back on it last summer. But lately I’ve been seriously considering deleting my account again because of all the people who use it in Satan’s way—as a tool to hurt and tear down others.
I feel as though I’ve tried and done a reasonably good job of teaching my children that it’s okay when other people believe differently than we do. As a result, my kids have a pretty wide variety of friends religiously, politically, socially, personally. And the great example my kids give to me is that those differences don’t really matter. Kids don’t care about changing someone’s opinion. They talk about their differing opinions in a very brief and civil (sometimes funny) way, then they move on. They don’t fight about it, they just move on. Their passion is about friendship, not politics, not opinions. Friendship and love.