Monday, January 30, 2012

I Dare to Post

Recently, I went on a facebook purging fest. I deleted over 250 friends and it was very liberating! Back when facebook was a baby, I thought it was a great idea to find every person I'd ever known and friend them. Childhood kids I hadn't met in ages, people from elementary school, all my high school pals, that one person I met at that college party that one time. Now that I've been to several more schools, I realize this was maybe not the best idea...I don't really want to keep in touch with all these people. Many of them are nice, good people, but...we're not actually friends.
So those that are left fall into two categories: actual friends (from all over) and law school peeps. I kept law school friends because it is really useful for networking purposes: if anybody posts about needing something down here, or if I need something where they are; that kind of thing. Despite this...I still find that I am hesitant to share all I want to share on fb. I read an article that I think is worthwhile, but I pause and think "this might offend some people..." I have several friends who are very liberal; I kept them on my fb because I am genuinely interested in their latest triathlon, or how their daughter did on her spelling test. Despite coming from disparate ends of the spectrum, I like them!

I have a lot of friends. At my wedding especially, I made 9 of them wear the same dress and dance to Journey.

But why do I hesitate to show them who I am and what I really think? They certainly don't hesitate to post every Huffpost article or Support PP petition, but here I am, worrying that they'll unfriend me or get in a nasty comment war. Whenever I see them post something to which I am opposed, I do one of two things: ignore it, or write them a personal message asking them several pointed questions. I don't comment, because I know it's usually a pointless waste of energy, and I don't defriend, because as I said, I like them. I think I am afraid that their like of me will not be enough to overcome their dislike of my other words, perhaps they really don't like me, and I'm just trying to stave their inevitable discovery of that fact.

But I guess in the long run, it's better to just have them know and get the unfriending over with. It's unfortunate that friendships cannot be sustained with those who disagree...but I wonder also: am I obligated to allow all my friends to see every post? I have no problem hiding future baby posts, but I have also considered hiding some of my more controversial statuses from those who I know will just disagree, usually with unnecessary vulgarity. I worry that I'll be taking away some opportunity to actually communicate with these people about important issues, but I also know that they probably aren't interested in real dialogue either. Just telling me how they disagree and enjoying their superiority.

Maybe facebook is taking up too much space in my brain.


  1. I totally know where you're coming from with this and it plagues me too! I 'only' have around 300 friends but I still hesitate every time I go to post something on there and usually end up just putting it on twitter instead where I feel more anonymous, or it feels less 'public'..not sure why that is, maybe it's the comments feature on facebook.

    A prime example is the 'Love Jesus, hate religion' video recently doing the rounds... so many of my close friends shared this on facebook and I felt saddened that a few of them didn't stop to consider that it might hurt me as a Catholic. And yet I didn't want to get into a comment war/whatever by posting a response to it... meh. I think I'm over facebook but will never be able to tear myself away cos I'm too nosey!!

    (Hi by the way...I found you through Mandi's blog!)

    1. Hello Clare! That's so funny what you wrote, I feel more comfortable with my twitter account too! Ironically, my twitter account is open and I don't always know who I'm broadcasting my views to, so lately I've gotten into some back-in-forth about a few issues!

      I try to not to let what people post hurt me - I realize that just as I cannot know who will see what I write, they don't either...and besides, most people who are unkind are doing so out of ignorance, not malice. Besides, if I let that happen, I'd be really really unhappy the majority of the time!! :)

  2. I don't hesitate when I go to post things or when I feel the need to comment on FB (or any other time for that matter). I've had more friends of friends attack me because of what they think I believe. For example I was chewed out for suggesting that a friend of mine go to Chick-fil-A for lunch. They got all over me about hating gays and lesbians and what not. I never hesitated to explain that I have many friends who have same sex attraction but that I don't feel that those friends should be acting out their attractions. (Or those who are attracted to opposite sex participate in pre-marital sex). That started a whole other fire storm but none the less I didn't feel as if I should back down. They are welcome to hold their false beliefs regarding moral issues but that doesn't mean that I have to back down from what I know are true moral teachings because I follow the one true faith founded by Christ over 2000 years ago. If anyone walked into my house they would know that I am Catholic. I try to make sure that my actions convey that I am Catholic also. I wear a cross and St. medals (usually under my clothes but sometimes they may peak out) and I am un ashamed. I think often we as Catholics or even Christians in general feel the need to hide our beliefs for fear of offending others where as those who do not hold our sentiments often have no issue with expressing their beliefs. That is why it seems as if their are more of them around than their really are. As my mother would say the squeaky wheel gets the oil. I would prefer to be the squeaky wheel who expresses the Churches teachings than to stay silent and let an opportunity that may have helped someone later fall by the way side. Catholics believe that their are 9 different ways to participate in another's sin one of which is to By silence. I don't want to get to the final judgment and God ask why I remained silent when I could have corrected. Do you? Why not stand proud and let it be known that you are Catholic and you follow the teachings of The Church.

    1. I don't think anyone who knows me is in question of my faith or how deeply I believe or assert it. However, "before one shoots the arrow of truth, one should dip it in honey." Facebook discussions do not often win many converts, but they make many enemies of acquaintances.

      It is my personal opinion that most conversions happen not because of impersonal debates online, but because of personal relationships wherein a nonbeliever is able to feel the love of God through a fellow human being. It isn't that this is impossible to do via the internet, but that it is so much more difficult, and often ends up sending a person the other way instead.

      I am glad you are not ashamed of your faith; neither am I. Together, hopefully we will both reach many people and ask them to join us in our journey towards Christ.

  3. I didn't think you were ashamed of your faith (otherwise you wouldn't have this very Catholic blog). My point was more along the lines of post if you feel called to do it and not fear the possible persecution of that action. I try not to pick fights in fact more often I just ignore those I know are just picking a fight to try to provoke me into saying something that just isn't true about the Catholic faith.


Comments make me feel like I'm not just talking to myself or the government (because I know the government secretly reads my blog). Help me feel less crazy - comment away!