A Coffee and Some Netiquette Friday
Recently a friend posted on Facebook she would not be reposting any "Repost this!" status updates. And it got me to thinking of an entry I did on my Blogger blog about that very topic. So with some tweaks and a snazzed-up picture, here are my thoughts on such things:
Sometimes Facebook really irritates me. Wait, let me clarify – not Facebook its self, but the status updates that crop up here ‘n’ there that are the equivalent of the E-Mail Forward. Many of you know what I’m talking about in both cases. But in case you don’t, here is a brief example of each:
- The E-Mail Forward: Often requiring the reader to first scroll through two pages of addresses from all the people who received the e-mail before them, the message often contains an inspiring and/or cautionary tale of some sort with directions to forward the e-mail to ‘x’ number of people. If the reader does not do this, he or she will end up with ‘x’ number of years of bad luck, small puppies will be kicked, and an entire glacier will melt and flood the North Pole ruining Christmas for everyone.
- The Facebook Status Update: Involving unverified statistics with no margin of error these updates are probably all posted with the best of intentions. (In 3% of the cases anyway – the other 97% are just a bunch of pot-stirring yokels.) These updates ask the reader to repost these status updates if they “love Jesus”, “support people fighting cancer”, or “want to end all the ills in the world”.
Now you may be reading this and wondering why I don’t just delete the e-mails and ignore the status updates. I mean, what’s it to me if this is what people want to do? Is it really hurting anybody? And honestly, I do think most of these things are passed along with the best of intentions.
But after some thought, I think it’s the underlying guilt trips that come along with these things that so irk me. As a couple of friends pointed out, such things are ultimately a form of peer pressure. I have sometimes wondered if by not forwarding/reposting such things if I am showing I actually am, deep down, a bad, uncaring, puppy-kicking and Jesus-denying person. Or maybe it’s just me. Though I doubt it.
Honestly, if all the ills of society were cured by the copy & paste function on computers the world over, we’d be living in a utopian society right now.
One last thing – it is so easy for me and for others to post something via Facebook or Twitter, to send an e-mail to try to guilt someone to ‘pass it along’ – even with the best of intentions – and quite another for any of us to get off our butts and actually do something about the injustices around us. It’s so very easy to type out “I love Jesus” and quite another to actually tell someone face-to-face about the salvation available only through His death and resurrection. Only minutes need to be spent in the comfort of my home decrying the hardships of the poor, but it’s another matter entirely to put together a donation for the food bank or to volunteer at a soup kitchen.
It’s time for all of us to stop living a copy-&-paste life.
. . . be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God . . . “ ~ Matthew 5:16 (The Message)
*Photo Credit: Undertow851 (Creative Commons)