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