I hate conflict. Probably because I spend most of my life in conflict with myself on one level or another, and because strife in all its varied forms makes me shiver and cringe the same way most folks do when they hear fingernails scrape across a chalkboard. (I wonder what this next generation of young people will use to describe that sensation, as fingernails on a whiteboard just don’t have the same effect?)
That said, there are a selection of topics I should know better than to share, mention, address, or otherwise acknowledge the existence of, in social media… After innocently sharing an article this morning that reminded me of our Christian duty to genuinely demonstrate God’s love and mercy toward our brothers and sisters whose actions and lifestyles may frighten, confuse, repulse, or cause some other visceral reaction, I found myself in the midst of a debate. Again.
It’s my own fault. I haven’t cut off friends and family members from my Facebook and Twitter pages based on their religious/political/social belief systems. If you’re my friend, you’re my friend, whether we voted for the same candidate, observe the same religious rituals, or dwell within the same socioeconomic strata. (I suppose that makes me odd.) The result, however, is that when I post about certain subjects, I often find myself caught in the middle of some awkward discussions.
Therefore, I’m making a list of things I should avoid referring to in my social media network. Ever. Unless I have a bizarre moment and feel the need to have an argument with someone.
1. Anything that leans, in any way, toward liberal politics… this would include the current presidential administration, the need to correct the injustices in America’s health care system, and anything related to guns, marriage, or the military.
2. References to corruption in any arena: gas prices, education, medicine, the church, fracking, the electoral college, voting on the Academy Awards, etc. Because if one person thinks it’s corrupt, someone else thinks it’s great (and is probably profiting from it somehow.)
3. Parenting philosophies. And you thought spanking was the big issue… just wait until your kiddos are beyond spanking age. You may have done everything “right” but someone will blame you for the way your children have turned out. You know, because parental control usurps God-given free will, right?
4. Religious ANYTHING. Speaking in tongues, baptism in water, healing, prosperity, God’s view of sin, particularly as it relates to those *all-important* matters like who is having sex with whom and the Pope’s Prada shoes. Any mention of the above is guaranteed to provoke a reaction. Some people, like my hubby, LIKE to provoke reactions. I do not.
5. Christian and/or American idolatry. Huh? You know… anything that questions the absolute power and right of all Christians and Americans (Christian or not) to behave in a superior manner to all other people groups, nationalities, and religious belief systems because, by God, we’re RIGHT.
My mom exited the world of the Internet a decade ago, after getting into a disturbing chat-room debate with some Muslims.
I’m beginning to understand her reasoning.