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Becoming A People of the ‘Hide’

September.13.2012

There is a crisp, refreshing feel in the air each morning which can only mean one thing: political commentary on facebook.

And while I am not here to tell you how to vote or even share my political opinion (because we all know I have one), there is one thing I have been confronted with lately, and that is the complete inability to dialogue in a respectful way. Granted, our politicians have set the tone, but we have lost the ability to create conversations. We only know how to state opinions as fact, and while this could be it’s own digression, I have been thinking about the lack of general discourse (political or not) and how I respond to it.

One of the reasons we are so comfortable telling others how to think and the language we use is that it doesn’t feel like we are compromising real relationships. Most of these conversations, I believe, would be handled at least slightly more politely in person. However, online we can communicate however we want, because we aren’t truly wanting to discus. We are wanting to tell.

As I discussed this idea with some friends, they reminded me that it is possible to unfollow a person, or just hide them from your facebook feed. Facebook has built in the ability where you can still be someone’s friend, but not have to deal with… you know… them as a person.

And it’s tempting. Wow, is it tempting. The more I read from some people the more I am tempted to click the magic button… the button that makes them go away without letting them know I have made them go away.

Here is my conclusion: I don’t want to be the type of person who hides from a relationship. The type of person who – with a click – can make people go away. Maybe we met once, or maybe we have something in common, either way, we are ‘friends’ for a reason, and therefore what you say to me, how you say it, and why you say it should hold some sort of weight no matter what level of relationship we have. And it’s really hard to love people who we’ve hidden.

I know social media is really the lowest common denominator, but when faced with being a person of the hide, I’d rather be known for not drawing lines in the sand.

1 Peter 4:8 has been ringing in my ears a lot this week, and even if this is the most simplest way – the words we present to a world watching – I am choosing to use language that is loving.

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

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