I took some risks this week on Facebook.
Instead of allowing my Facebook profile to exist peaceably in cyberspace, I decided to express myself in ways I hadn’t before.
One day I posted an article that supported marriage between one man and one woman. A Facebook-friend with whom I went to elementary school commented on my link in four paragraphs calling the viewpoint “ludicrous”.
Another day a Facebook-friend posted a status calling the Duggar family “insane”. I commented on her status by presenting the possibility that the Duggars (and other large families) may actually be loving, courageous, and selfless. This was followed by comments from her friends agreeing with the original statement; “Crazy. Crazy. Crazy.”
I honestly feared these two might un-friend me.
A recent article in the Washington Post addressed these fears about expressing ourselves on Facebook, particularly in the “Religious Views” portion of the profile.
“I couldn’t help thinking how others would judge me,” said one local Catholic young adult.
My own profile reads Evangelical Orthodox Roman Catholic. I am a Catholic of the Roman rite; I accept the Magesterium of the Church; and my heart is evangelical. Even more than these four adjectives, I think about my statuses, comments, and events which are so publicly displayed.
But it seems that Pope Benedict XVI would encourage all of us to take risks in expressing ourselves. In his Message for the 43rd World Communications Day, he writes:
“The new technologies have also opened the way for dialogue between people from different countries, cultures and religions. The new digital arena, the so-called cyberspace, allows them to encounter and to know each other’s traditions and values.”
In order start a dialogue, we first have to have the confidence to express our values openly…even if we do risk being un-friended.
Therefore, since we have such hope, we act very boldly. 2 Cor 3:12
9 Replies to “Facebook: What will people think?”
It takes a lot of courage to share your faith so openly. Good for you!!
A few weeks ago I took one of those quickie “political views” tests on Facebook. The result was on the libertarian/conservative side. One of my Facebook friends from the parish commented, jokingly, “I don’t think I can be friends with you anymore.” But I soon realized that the wonderful thing about the Church is that we don’t have to agree on political views to be part of it. (Though you couldn’t tell that based upon the smack-talk about Ted Kennedy’s funeral going back and forth on blogs and Facebook pages in the last week.)
My profile just reads “Christian – Catholic.” (There isn’t enough space for the Nicene Creed.)
As far as “un-friending” goes, it’s often threatened but very rarely done. (The odd exception was Burger King’s “Whopper Sacrifice” application, which gave you a coupon for a free Whopper for every 10 friends you un-friended. It got so popular that Burger King had to shut it down, but not before over 200,000 people were un-friended. Not sure what friendships that survive political disagreements but fall to free burgers say about humanity…)
Laura, I love your blog. You are a corageous woman. Our Lord himself was un-friended by many. In the end he only had 3 friends at the foot of the corss and one was his mother!
I’ve always admired your courage and the gifts God has given you. You go girl. I’ve got your back!
At the prodding of a friend, I recently set up a FaceBook page. (Although, truth be known…my thoughts and the goings-on in my life are about as interesting as watching paint dry.) Those on my contact list with FB pages include my 70-something year old aunt, the retired director of Music Ministry at my former parish, and my somewhat-of-a-Luddite brother-in-law. At 43 I clearly am a behind-the-times fogey.
State in Fide – Stand Firm in the Faith. I suppose we all have to remember that we serve a Lord who got nailed (literally) for what he said and we walk the path of the prophets and martyrs who were jailed, ridiculed, stoned and killed for what they said. It’s good company. Not always a pleasant place, but good compay nontheless. When you evangelize effectively expect to get it with both barrels! Ah but to suffer for Jesus, to suffer for doing what is right “hurts so good” and by God’s grace is merit.
REAL friends don’t “unFriend” one another. As far as I can tell, Facebook is to friendship as Cheez Whiz is to cheese — a plastic substitute. 😉
Don’t fret, Laura. You are on the high road and your detractors aren’t.
When you drive and are sometimes shaken by an unexpected speed bump, it takes a couple of minutes before your shattered nerves get back to normal.
Jesus fell three times enroute to Calvary, and continued so that you and I can also bear our crosses into eternity.
Check out this Wall Street Journal article about Facebook’s effect on friendship:
I think she’s right on and it’s not unrelated to this discussion. Perhaps our deepest convictions should be discussed in person rather than viewed and commented on in this kind of forum. People say things they’d never say in person.
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