Wednesday, October 07, 2015

The spiritual discipline of facebook

Once again I left a long, impassioned comment on someone's Facebook post this morning... and then deleted it. I hate it when I get sucked into arguments. Then I want to delete my account or un-friend everyone.

I have always liked Facebook though. When other people were decrying its evils, I saw it as a way to stay connected to people - especially friends and family I otherwise wouldn't be able to interact with. However, lately I've been avoiding it more and more. What with politics, Presidential candidates, gun use/misuse, and all the other contentious issues... it seems an exercise in futility not really worth the effort. It's difficult to scroll through my news feed without my blood pressure rising at a number of posts or links shared by my "friends."

I have 'hidden' a number of people over the years, even un-friended a few in extreme situations, but the truth is there are still a number of people whose posts I like and enjoy, as well as the insightful articles and news from many sites I follow.

So I've determined that rather than backing away from Facebook, perhaps I can use it as way to practice spiritual disciplines. When I read things that offend me, rather than getting upset or leaving a snarky comment, I can use that as a chance to ask God for patience and understanding. And if I get good enough, maybe I can even offer a silent prayer for the person or group that has offended me. And... I can always stand to better examine my life, thoughts, motives, and beliefs. Certainly I have been the beneficiary of patience from others when I was the one doing the offending.

I do think I will limit my Facebook time, but not ignore it entirely. God knows I don't need to be checking it all day long. However, I feel better with simply acknowledging that there are people who think/believe differently than me. I need to remind myself it's okay to disagree, but it doesn't mean I have to dislike them.

It's kind of a way to help me mature. Hopefully.

We'll see.