Monday, December 20, 2010

Under Pressure

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:

      1.   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.

      2.  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?  And honestly, I do think most of these things are passed along with the best of intentions.

So again – what’s my problem?  And after some thought and such, 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.  One wonders if by not forwarding/reposting such things are they showing they are indeed bad, uncaring, puppy-kicking and Jesus-denying people.  (Or maybe it’s just me.  Though I doubt it.)  But seriously -- if people can’t tell I’m a Christian by what I do ‘everyday’ then the last thing I need to be changing is my Facebook status.   And 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. 

Look, I do love Jesus and I know I fall far short of the life He’s called me to live.  And I know several people who have had cancer.  None of them care one whit about people honouring them via e-mail forwards or Facebook status updates.  They're too busy living their lives.

I guess what I’m taking issue with is the fact it’s so easy for me 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 to get off my butt and actually do something about the injustices around me.  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.

I want to stop living a copy & paste life.  How about you?  And if you’re not living that sort of a life, kudos!  What do you do to actually get out there and do something?  Feel free to share below.  I won’t copy & paste it, I promise.  ;-)


Debbie said...

so get out there and do!

I simply try and pick up a bag worth of groceries every paycheck for the food bank. It doesn't cost me any time really, on my shopping trip. We can work things into our daily lives that help people.

What are you going to do?

crosscribe said...

I haven't sorted out yet exactly what I'm going to do, Debbie. And there are things I do that occurred to me in retrospect of this last entry, but I've gone into a sort of auto-pilot mode with some of them. :-P Not a great way to really be effective.

Soooo yeah. Time to again put the pedal to the metal and go out there and *do*! :-)