I've noticed something on Facebook and Twitter lately that is bugging me, so I feel a rant coming on....then I'll let it go! :-) Of course, I know that 50% or more of what is posted on these social network sites is nonsense, but this thing is bugging me more than some of the things on FB and Twitter usually do. There are often the tweets declaring that if you 'follow' you'll gain thousands of followers yourself, instantly! Really? I don't think so, and who wants followers that way anyway!? There's the spam/junk mail that comes in all forms. Because I have a boys name (Toni) I get sent a lot of offers for Viagra! Uh-huh! *shakes head* Or there are the tweets claiming that someone has filmed you in a nightclub doing something stupid or obscene. I get those daily! Things like that I can confidently ignore because I've been in a nightclub once in my life, about 15-16 years ago - that was for a party I won in a radio contest, so all the people there I knew because I invited them!
But, none of those things are the blood boiler...
The particular irritation are the posts declaring something like this; "Click like if you support cancer research" or " Hit share if you love your daughter". The list of these popping up goes on and on, and seems to be growing as fast as people can think them up...'Click share if you agree"....ah-ha, see! And I admit that I purposely don't share or like these posts, and until recently I've ignored them with a fair amount of composure. But this one crossed my timeline a week or so ago, and the wording was exactly this; "Share if you love Jesus. Don't share if you want to go to hell". I KID YOU NOT!!! I dare anyone to tell me I don't love Jesus, or I'm going to hell just because I didn't share that post!
Back in the late 70's and early 80's when I was heavy into penpalling (snail mail - stamp, envelope....you remember, yeah?) chain letters were what went around, declaring that if a copy of the letter wasn't sent to ten different people within three days someone in your family was going to die, or some nonsense like that! I was young and timid back then, and naive, until a kind Postmaster explained the truth of these scare tactics to me....but prior to his kindness it was frightening for a pre-teen like me. However, afterwards the amount of them I ignored should have eliminated my entire family, and several friends - if there was any truth in them at all!
These forms of intimidation have been around for many, many years, and while they have changed form and may now travel in different ways they still amount to nonsense. But, just as when I was a young girl these words were frightening, so they still are to a young girl or boy now reading them on Twitter or FB. As older, more mature people (I would hope - and Christians especially) we have a responsibility to the younger generation, and sometimes that responsibility includes NOT sharing ridiculous, emotionally bullying, subtle though they may be, posts like that. As adults with any amount of common sense we KNOW this is a whole lot of nothing, but a shy 12 year old girl from a broken home whose only thing to cling to is a new, infant faith in Christ, or a new adult-age Christian, might not know that.
I love Jesus Christ! (AND I'm going to heaven, by-the-way!) I love my daughter, and my sons...and my elderly mother! I have compassion for ill-treated animals, wild-life, rainforests, and for abuse victims. I support organisations I feel drawn to, the identity of which is between me and God. I don't need to share or like a FB or Twitter post to make any of that true, or not true.
Ok, I'm done now. But I will add one more thing. I love it when people share my blog posts and comment on them, but DON'T ever feel obligated...or bullied to do so. I trust in God and happily leave it to Him to determine who sees them, reads them, and shares them.
Toni (Jeanne) xxxx