Thursday, September 29, 2011

Facebook Fail: Rules on Not Baiting or Swallowing the Bait

My comment when I posted is telling. I knew I was flirting with sin.
Did it again! I will need to confess this Facebook fail and I find myself wondering what my spiritual father will say. He reminds me to ask the Theotokos to pray for me about these vanities in which I pickle myself. How does one pray to the Mother of God, the new Eve, asking her prayers for dinking around again in what feels like a kind of Garden of Eden.

Have you thought about that? That the Facebook is like the Garden, just a little? Work with me on this metaphor. It's a place where, if you follow a kind of spiritual code like "[I, meaning God] told you not to touch that or eat that" then it's a great way to enjoy humor. I get surprise social winks from old friends and the joy to find out I made someone 'like' a funny, sweet or clever post gives me a moments contentment. I used to think it would suck me into an ego-centric platform. A few years ago, I made a little usage practice that I would not update my status more often than I would post messages or comments to friends on Facebook. Since then, it's become a less brain consuming toy. I don't think of fifteen statuses as I do a morning run. And, I made I rule that I would stop using it as a forum for only my political or theological point of view.  That was fomenting Facebook fights which eventually petered out without any denouement. People sling a few 500-character diatribes until a new fight crops up on another front. Then they just stop commenting or commentating. We leave these festering differences without agreeing to agree or disagree. We just wander away from each. I wonder if anyone else is left with a sense of something unsettled, unresolved and fearfully, un-healed. Is it just me?

Facebook is a veritable "orgasboard, smorgasbord" of ways to stew. Now I wonder if I should blow up my 'share' button on Firefox. I may be deluding myself that what I elect to share isn't too one-sided or pointed. I know all the rules about how emails may be misinterpreted. I know we perceive tones in writing that may not be there. What if someone perceives a tone in selections, so that after posting an youtube like the one from President Obama's Hollywood Lunch Heckler?  Even the source irritates some. I could have posted the link from the Huffington Post or from Fox News and that might have changed how my readers perceive my intent.

Or, there's the chance that someone else's comment raised ire, not my post.  Nevertheless, the youtube in question led to comments that spiraled into a suggestion about the link between the President's spiritual state and his political leadership with Israel. Did not see that one coming!  I ended posting a too-short theological tongue lashing about how we interpret Scripture and what the true use of 'prophecy' is. I jumped into the shower and reflected on my few lines. I need to follow-up, or erase, methinks to myself. Too late. I had taken a bait that the author did not intend to throw. She'd responded. She's my aunt. I don't want to cheese her off. She's family and I like her.  But, being clear must have meant something to me yesterday. Instead of letting turning off the burner on that stew, I stirred the pot. I 'clarified' with an expansion on the purpose of prophecy for repentence, not fortune-telling. True or not, there's been radio silence ever since. Now, how does one fix a sore relationship created by these off-hand de-baits in social networking.  I suppose I'd better start with the prayers.

Oh, yeah, I know what other advice my spiritual father will tell me. I can best make it right by praying for the person I wronged.  I suppose I'll post a 'sorry I ate the apple. I feel very naked right now' too. Hope she's not weird when some spiritual wacko leaps out from behind the facebook brush, naked and all in her sin.

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