Our Response to Social Media: Response to “3 things to stop posting on social media”, and “The 5 most annoying FaceBook posts about getting engaged”

We all have frustrations in our lives, whether in our real lives, or in our online lives.  Remember those heated youtube, redditt, or facebook debates? Remember the drama between your friends in middle school? Well…this post is not addressing those things, but rather, it is addressing something far more pressing to our social media culture; something that goes without being checked, and is even championed as the “truth”.

I am talking about the general social media cultural shift that now gets annoyed when they see certain things from their friends on their newsfeed. No, these are not the political rants… But pictures of babies, families, married or single couples expressing their love publicly, people expressing their every emotion, and even certain engagement announcements can make people frustrated.

Here are two articles that best capture what I am addressing:

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/culture/tech/3-things-stop-posting-social-media#comment-399912

http://wittyandpretty.com/2013/05/31/the-friday-5-most-annoying-facebook-posts-about-being-engaged/

My idea of addressing this issue came before seeing the blogs and articles complaining about it; the articles that I saw just merely confirmed to me that it was an issue that was larger than my little society at college.  If you want to get more “into” reading this post, please read the above articles for yourselves before you read further.

I will start by addressing some of the societal norms that I have seen, some of which are addressed in the articles shared.

  • Frustration over excessive posting
    • This is one that I understand the frustration more, but at the same time, I wonder why it is such a frustration for so many
      • Proposed Solution: Just simply hide that person’s content from your newsfeed if it bothers you.  If they are a true friend, check up on them by going to their page every so often.  Save yourself from the frustration/anger in your heart.
  • Frustrations over overly emotional postings; where a person posts how they are feeling at any given moment.
    • This is the facebook friend that says “my day sucks” a few times a week for either a legitimate reason, or simply because one comparatively tiny thing happened that threw their day off.  A lot of people get frustrated over this because it seems unstable, and weak.
      • Analysis: If you are becoming frustrated by these postings, it means that you honestly do not truly care about what is going on in that person’s life.  Yes, they may be crying because of a “stupid” thing according to some, but if that is the case, than there is a legitimate emotional need/problem there, and complaining about them is showing your apathy towards finding a solution.
      • Solution: Ask them why things are bad, talk them through some things, or simply say, “I just prayed for you” to them on that status, or in a message.  When an individual is depressed, they will convince themselves that no one truly cares about them, so you may be adding to the problem.  And if you cannot handle that, you may have to hide them from your newsfeed.
  • Frustrations over Romantic Postings
    • This is the couple that posts “I love you” on eachother’s facebooks, or share status updates involving them.  Perhaps even the couple that posts pictures of themselves with one another, hugging, or kissing.  A lot of people get frustrated over this because they do not understand why a couple needs to express that so publicly, and perhaps deep down it bothers them because they may not have a significant other.  Trust me, I do not understand the kissing profile picture either, personally, but I wont complain about it.
      • Analysis: Personally, I try to keep the cutesy stuff on my facebook minimal between my long-time girlfriend and myself, but to be honest, this is partly due to my fear of being judged by others. When my friends post about their love of their significant other, as long as I approve of their relationship, I should rejoice over their Joy that they have.  To be honest, why would it concern others so much if a couple is expressing their love? It may be a problem within the observer…That they may be so negative because they judge others through the way that they would do things, they don’t understand the importance of the situation to that couple, or they may be jealous.  Is it odd if a couple has to say “I love you” on facebook every day? Yeah, maybe…but why does that concern me/you?
      • Solution: Rejoice in your friends joy. If you cannot do that, you may need to work on your compassion. Ask yourself why it frustrates you so much.  More likely than not, after you examine it, you may realize that your reasoning is minimal if not all together flawed.  Yes, it may be too much for YOU, but maybe they need to have that public affirmation, so they know that their friends who read their statuses, know that they love their significant other. And if there may be a legitimate concern over co-dependency/emotional instability, maybe you need to ask them some caring questions.
  • Frustrations over Cliche engagement statuses
    • Some people may post “My BFF just proposed”, “can’t wait to be future Mrs. Jane (fiance’s last name)”, I liked it so I put a ring on it, etc..  Other complain that it is too cliche, that its annoying to phrase it that way, or they doubt that the person who the person is marrying is truly their best friend.   The article about this above also talked about taking his last name, and stated that the person did not have to give up their last name.
      • Analysis: Really?  You are complaining about an engagement update??? Really? This is an expression of Love and commitment that should only happen once in a life time, and you want to rain on their well-deserved parade by complaining that you don’t like how they announced it?? I am a bit more harsh on this point because I honestly do not understand it.
      • Solution: It is their lives, not yours. If they are truly your friends, look past their cheesiness and just rejoice with them.
  • Frustrations over excessive baby photos/family photos
    • I am not even going to address this. You should know.

Concluding Statements: I am a Christian who tries to follow Jesus in my daily life. The majority of this article above was written to any audience of any creed.  But at this time, I would like to address the Christians who deal with these complaints brewing within them.  First off, I have been guilty, and probably will be guilty in the near future, over reacting negatively to these things.  Even the last one, I didn’t understand a baby photo every month, but I think i will have a better understanding when I am a parent.  Just guessing.

The fact is, Christ calls us to love one another and to correct hypocrisy (just read a Gospel account), and Paul instructs us in Romans 12:9-13 to love and unite and rejoice with our fellow believers.  He then goes on to tell us to love our enemies, and to overcome evil with good (12:14-21).  That being said, I would wager that complaining about our friends posts that may annoy us, but have no real ground, is not how the Christian should respond.  The Christian should address any problems that arise out of Love, and seek to find a solution, first looking inwardly and then looking outwardly.  For it was Christ who said, “First remove the plank out of your own eye so that you can see clearly the speck in your brother’s eye”(Matthew 7:5).

Even in these little things, these social media frustrations, Christians are failing to live out the love of Christ.

 

Advertisements