Please Don’t Post That!

The Disclaimer

I’m sure you have seen it. Maybe you cringed or maybe you got angry and fired back. It’s inevitable and at some point one may be directed in your direction. So what do you do with it? It’s the angry Facebook post and we need to talk about it.

Maybe it was a parent, sibling, relative, friend, or a random person who posted it which was then commented on by a friend of your’s and now you see. You saw the post or read the article and now you are fired up and you are ready to fire back. I have been so amazed at the power of Facebook to act as a vehicle to dive deep within our hearts, mine out what’s really going on in there and unlike in most daily interactions where we practice a form of discipline and care, we lash out with explosive anger and condemnation. Truth be told, I have done it too and I have had to quickly delete the post and think to myself, “What was that about?”.

So, for all the people who have struggled with someone (like me) who have posted something like this, here is a letter I have crafted for your viewing pleasure.

***Disclaimer: This post is not directed toward or at any particular group or person but is a observation of a general climate on Facebook.***


 

Dear (Parent/Sibling/Relative/Friend/Facebook Friend’s name),

Can we talk real quick? This is something that has nagging at me for a while and to be honest I was trying to just let it go. I was hoping it was a season, maybe just something going on in your life and I wanted to be as graceful and supportive as I could.

I know this (political season/cultural issue/circumstance, etc…) has been particularly tough for you and many people feel the same way you do. Even I feel/felt the same way you do but I want to ask you to do something. I really hope you understand that this comes from the deepest and sincerest part of my heart.

Stop it.

See, every time I go on Facebook I feel like I have to try and dodge your posts like I’m trying to dodge NYC taxi cabs on 7th ave. I think you have a lot of passion about the (political season/cultural issue/circumstance, etc…) and I truly affirm your freedom in doing so but you are upsetting people.

I know what you are thinking, “I don’t care if they are upset, it’s the truth!” and while I agree/don’t agree with your position I hope you can see that your continuous barrage of posts and incessant finger pointing really does no one any good.

For example, do you see when you put that post up you really upset (Mom/Dad/sibling/neighbor/spouse/kids/friends…)? I know you guys disagreed but can’t you see that before long it became more about insults and anger than truth and understanding?

You know I stand for truth, maybe more than most people but you can’t go about it this way. I’m curious, have you ever continued a conversation about (important topic) outside of Facebook? I mean have you been able to come to a resolution face-to-face and not leave it with a half snarky and punchy comment post? I hope so.

I just think that maybe on Facebook where everyone’s opinions are so freely given without concern for the other (person/group) maybe we should be the ones to be just as wildly and freely giving of grace, understanding. Truth doesn’t need you to play the finger-pointing game, it has its own way of doing that.

I’m not against posting about what you love or are passionate about, I do that all the time. I love people who are passionate about something! I just think things have gotten a little crazy lately and we should do our part to try to add a little less “crazy” and a little more understanding.

Maybe we could grab some (coffee/lunch/dinner) and talk about some of this. Are you free sometime soon?

Greg Smith

Blogging about faith, life, church, and everything in between.

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