The one or two people that actually read what I write here have probably also figured out that I recently deactivated my Facebook account. There are a few reasons for this, but my primary reason has to do with Facebook’s laughable enforcement of their terms, conditions, and alleged community standards. This wouldn’t however be much of a problem if the people on my friends list adhered to those terms, conditions, and community standards.
How could it be otherwise? Facebook doesn’t present things in your news feed that come from people you don’t follow, at least not directly. This means that if there’s pornographic material, obscenity, or abusive content in my news feed it’s because one of my friends either posted it, commented on it, or liked it
Never mind that Facebook has explicitly said that those things are not acceptable content. When you report it they say it doesn’t violate their community standards. Clearly they are right, after all the community consists of their subscribers and if a subscriber posts something it must be because they either approve of it or endorse it.
I shouldn’t be too outraged though. Most of my Facebook friends aren’t Christians, so I shouldn’t expect them to behave like Christians. Taking Facebook’s advice, I simply stopped following the people who were posting offensive material. I didn’t stop there though. I also stopped following the absolute political ideologues that posted things that couldn’t be supported by evidence, or that twisted or distorted the truth to make an ideological point. Interestingly enough I found that I stopped following more people on the ideological right than the left once I started this.
That’s not to say that I believe what the ideological left has to say any more than the right. Before I shifted the focus of this web log I wrote quite a bit from the right side of the aisle. Much of what I wrote here is still available on my other web log, and I still stand by most of that. But it bothers me when people have to distort the truth to support their argument. Ideas should stand or fall on their merit and truthfulness.
Unfortunately even some of my longest standing friends don’t appear to agree. People I’ve known for decades are willing to accept deception and misdirection as valid means to support positions, and when confronted with facts simply say “well that’s just your opinion.” People I once looked up to as examples of how to walk the Christian walk now appear to be willing to accept deception as a means to an end.
It’s really pretty sad.
I’ve also come to recognize that a lot of what looks like Christianity isn’t exactly biblical. So many of my religious friends are happy to post “happy little memes” about the promises of God or the blessings that will come simply by “saying the word” and believing, or by sharing and liking the picture. A lot of this is no more biblical than the notion that we should pray to Mary for our salvation or that we are to obey the gospel so that we can have wealth and prosperity on this earth rather than bring people to Christ.
Or, even worse, that blessings will follow if we “like” a post, comment “amen” and share it – but if we don’t we’ll demonstrate a lack of faith. While it’s true that those that deny Jesus before men will be denied by him before the Father (Matt 10:33), I seriously doubt that the digital equivalent of a chain letter is what the Lord had in mind. What about Christ’s warning about praying “to be seen by men” (Matt 6:5)? That seems more the motivation behind a lot of this than actually honoring and giving glory to God.
The tagline on this web log is “This is not a site about me.” It used to be about me, but now I prefer it to be about the truth. Facebook is “all about me” for just about everyone that uses it. It’s not going to be about me anymore.