Friday, August 3, 2012

Facebook Chicken

Something I've noticed about debates on Facebook. 

They don't create friends. Politics in social media are more like a game of chicken on a two lane highway.  This past week, the entire Facebook community seemed consumed by Chick-Fil-A, and yet I do not recall a single post of a single person being converted heart or mind from one side to the other. It was really a sense of tribal camps.  Camps that had good reasons for being, but camps that could see the multitude of reasons on its own side for joining, and none of the thought process of the other. 

The nature of the debate on Facebook shrinks rather than expand the arena of ideas.  It just divides us into the us and them, the like and don't like, the R and the D, the Yeah We're Great and Good and Wise and the Evil Other side is stupid...we do not see our own planks in our own eyes, but those splinters, WOW, they're big.  Let me help... Click "Like" and share is not the same as give love and sharing. We aren't doing much giving if all we are doing is standing on a soap box and saying anyone who doesn't agree with me is a doof and I'm unfriending.  

Facebook politics don't allow for much nuance, so there is much opportunity for hurt. But real relationships must change us, or they are not real. Because we do not see face to face, we miss the smiles, the eyes, the heart that comes with having a discussion about real things with real people. There is far more nuance in the motivations of our thinking than our political ideological monikers reveal.   It is a hard thing to recognize, that in this age of most people having 200+ followers, and over 500 "friends," true relationships are being lost in the cross fire of expecting that all friends shall be mirrors unto ourselves. We have to be willing to open our eyes even in the virtual world, to the bigger souls that are shrunk by our limited vision in cyber space, and to how we might be shrinking our own in the process. Friends are not mirrors, they are facets of God's eyes, that show back to us, the pieces we won't otherwise see. 

Pray for peace in all our hearts, in all our actions and in all we think and say everywhere. 


Maria said...

hmmm... interestingly all of the (very) few posts by my friends on the subject involved calls for tolerance and respect from both sides. Most of my friends did indicate where they stood, but not one of them set out to demonize the other side.

I wish the media and politicians would just shut up. They are abusing a very complicated subject for their personal gain.

Sharon said...

Well said. This is why I've learned (for the most part) to stay out of debates on FB, and for goodness sakes, not to start one!

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!