Social media dark … a cautionary tale

So I was going back through my posts. This is normally what happens … I’m gone for a year and I forgot what I had written. My post about mega churches made me laugh … It started:

So I saw this post on Facebook today that got me heated, but I chose not to respond because I’m not about losing my temper on social media … Been there. Done that. Felt like an idiot.

I fell into this trap a few weeks ago and have been dwelling on it ever since. Let’s go back … to just after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston … *insert Wayne’s World-esc sound effects and a wavy screen – cut to me looking at Facebook –

Scrolling down my news feed I see all these posts about how Harvey is affecting folks in Houston. My heart is really breaking. The rest of the day I check in on it. Throughout the course I start seeing things about that silly Mega Church everybody loves to hate not opening its doors (coincidentally I think that meme I talked about in the Mega Church post was an image of this church).

I was getting increasingly agitated with all the posts I was seeing. I just didn’t understand what business it was of anyone’s whether or not someone or some entity was or wasn’t doing what we think they’re “supposed” to do … why are we passing judgment when we should be helping. There are bigger fish to fry. Sowing hate and discord doesn’t help. I was fuming by the end of the day.

Then I saw another stupid meme. This one about the number of churches in the Houston area – somewhere in the 2000 area – and how many we listed as open and accepting refugees/donations etc. – somewhere less than 100 – and I lost it. I lost my temper, my composure, my filter, my ability to keep my mouth shut – and I let loose my typing fingers.

I posted without proofing, without censor, without breathing, the most cringeworthy response to that meme in particular, paying no attention to who posted it, or what my post might do to my relationships.

When I say it was awful, I mean I used words I’ve never used out loud, even as a sailor. This post damaged my ability to hold my head up high and say, I’m a Christian and I choose to live my life by Christian principles. To this moment, months later, I am embarrassed by this post – even after apologizing for it and deleting it. I have relationships that may never recover from this post.

How ridiculous does that sound? A Facebook post may make it so that people I have known for quite some time may never speak to me again or look at me in the same light. A stupid Facebook post.

So … I disabled my Facebook account. I figured a) I may be too embarrassed to ever post anything again, b) this wasn’t the first time I had wanted to post something like this – I was sure it wouldn’t be the last, and c) what’s the point anyway?

Seriously. Facebook has been an ongoing distraction and irritation for me for way too long. I could be reading books, writing blog posts, or being a productive parent and spouse. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of people with active Facebook accounts that do all of these things without issue … I’m just not one of them.

So … other than Pinterest, I don’t social media anymore and I’m more than ok with this.


Oops I did it again …

I told you I was bad at this …. case and point.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about writing. Seemed like a good time to jump back into this. My dad told me the other day that everyone has a unique way of remembering things and we should write our stories down. My dad isn’t always known for his words of wisdom, but I took that to heart.

I’ve thought about writing a memoir. I don’t think I’ve ever even read a memoir. That might be something I should do first … recommendations welcome …

Anyway – my little family and I just got home from spending the weekend with two of my sisters in the least likely of “vacation” spots imaginable. Omaha, Nebraska. My brother-in-law was curling in a tournament for a place in the Olympic team which made for a perfect excuse to get together even if it was only for a couple days. — Anonymity could be tested here. Curling is a niche sport with a small community … I don’t think my sisters read blogs, and not may people will read this anyway, so what the hell.

I’m not a huge sports fan. My sisters know this. Dispute growing up around curling (and just about every other sport you can think of – another story), I barely knew how curling was scored when we sat down for the first match we watched. Luckily, D is totally into any and all sports and was asking tons of questions trying to figure out the strategy and technique. Meanwhile I’m on Wikipedia reading about the history of the sport because apparently I hate fun.

I always come away with mixed emotions after seeing my sisters. I was telling a friend at work about this today. I love them and I miss them, but we’re so different, most of the time I’m trying to figure out if they even like me as a person. They certainly don’t know me very well and really I don’t know them. It’s shared experiences and blood that keep us together, and it’s my anxiety and self-centeredness that threatens my ability to continue those relationships.

Since “adulthood,” I have never had a reunion with them that didn’t have me crying for one reason or another. I really wish this wasn’t the case …

Venting and Mega Churches

So I saw this post on Facebook today that got me heated, but I chose not to respond because I’m not about losing my temper on social media … Been there. Done that. Felt like an idiot. So I thought I’d vent/rant here instead…
This post I saw was politically driven… as most social media posts are generally speaking these days, even in non-election years. The post – I refuse to post it here – showed a picture of the inside of a “mega church” and was captioned “instead of building mega churches, how about we build mega homeless shelters” … … … 😒. 

The person that posted this is a vocal atheist that more than likely doesn’t realize how shortsighted and hypocritical some of their anti-religion (most specifically anti-Christian) posts are since while they are preaching inclusion they are tearing down an entire group of people that want the same thing … apparently they haven’t read the Bible … or if they have, they cherry picked what fit into their already cynical view of the faith they clearly know nothing about. 

Here are my issues with this post …

1. Mega churches make up a FRACTION of churches in the world but this post assumes mega churches are popping up like weeds. Many churches around the world are small groups of people meeting in secret in someone’s living room or dirty basement. The vast majority of churches cater to small communities and congregations where everybody knows everybody. (Mega churches offer anonymity while searching for faith which many people need in this world of anti-Christians – personally I prefer a church that feels like home. Mega churches don’t do it for me.)

2. This post vilifies the amount of money it takes to build a “mega church” in that it showcases a tv evangelist’s church. This flashy church with its many cameras, bright lights, and thousands of seats probably did cost a pretty penny to build … So instead of building this church with all that money, why wasn’t it just given away? … well because tv evangelist mega churches like this one put faith in reaching people and inspiring them to seek God and while doing so giving to those in need in their community as God calls us to do. It costs money to get the message to people that don’t even know they need it until they hear it. 

3. Finally, and mostly, this post suggests that building homeless shelters actually solves the problem of homelessness … 😳. While a homeless shelter helps a short term problem for an individual in that it keeps them off the street during inclement weather, provides them with a couple meals, and gives them resources to get back on their feet, it is by no means a solution to their problem. So instead of building homeless shelters, we ought to focus on things that actually help them in the long run -i.e. Job placement, hygiene assistance, mental health assistance (considering a great deal of our homeless population suffer from a mental illness this one is a big deal), and how about destigmatization of their predicament … a homeless person is still a person, not a lesser animal, criminal, lazy, deadbeat or any other monicker we greater humans with roofs over our heads throw at them as we pass them on the street – Empathy goes a long way to fixing this people problem. 

What this post does is draw attention to a small population within the Christian community that doesn’t represent the whole but condemns the whole just the same. As if the majority of Christians, or generally people of faith, don’t actually practice what they preach and instead they go to these mega churches and bathe in success while doing nothing for their fellow human as they are called to do … this is a huge stereotype that just needs to stop. 

Oh and by the way most homeless shelters are established and staffed by churches … what some consider to be “mega churches” since they are denominational and part of a great whole of churches…. i.e. the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church, the Episcopal Church, etc. AND most homeless shelters would cease to exist if not for donations from those no good people of faith that don’t give two rips about those in need. 

😤 end rant –

… So … I’ve been avoiding you …

I have a confession to make … I’ve become aware that I’ve been subconsciously avoiding this blog for a little while. I think this happens every time I start a blog … something tells me to stop writing, that no one reads it, so what’s the point – I don’t even care if no one reads it, that’s the really weird part … and before I realize it, I just stop.  Its like exercising … funny, I haven’t been doing that much lately either. That’s probably why I keep getting headaches.

I’m a sufferer of mild to severe migraines. They used to happen once a month religiously (or more if I was stressed about something or in need of seeing the chiropractor). I realized a few years ago that I don’t have quite as many migraines when I am more consistent about working out … so you’d think I’d be more religious about working out huh? … Well … that’s the thing about religion … it takes discipline … so naturally I’m terrible at it.

This is something I’ve actually never thought about … what would happen if I treated exercising like going to church? I hate missing church … I always feel like I’ve missed an important lesson or I just feel out of sync the rest of the week … Can I make myself hate missing a workout?

I was listening to a podcast the other day – I won’t mention the title, I’m not into free advertising – it was one of those “makes you think” podcasts about the meaning of work. It’s an hour long podcast, but here’s the gist – the way you view your work and whether or not you’re happy doing it boils down to your state-of-mind. If you hate your job because of xyz, instead of focusing on xyz and start focusing on abc. For instance, if you hate your job because your commute sucks and you’re exhausted when you get to work and when you get home because other drivers are idiots … stop focusing on the idiots … find something about your drive you like and focus on that … for example: That jerk cut me off, but this Alicia Keys song I’m singing my heart out to is so awesome I think I’ll play it a couple more times; or OMG this traffic is moving sooooo slowly I may get through this hour long podcast that is so interesting I didn’t even notice I’m almost home now … I think I’ll sit in the car and finish listening to this before going in.

Do you see what I mean? What can I focus on instead of the things I hate about working out so that maybe I’ll hate missing my workout as much as I hate my podcast getting interrupted by my unfortunately early arrival at my destination? Here … I’ll make a likes and dislikes list for working out … keep in mind my chosen work out is Crossfit …

Dislikes: It hurts, I have to wake up stupid early to do it, it hurts, I’m socially awkward at my gym, it hurts, I get a little anxiety about socializing at the gym, it hurts …

Likes: Results, learning/mastering new movements, hitting a new personal record, the crossfit community is pretty awesome – despite my social awkwardness, the way I feel when I’m on track …

OK – those are pretty good lists … I think I might focus on the pain of working out a little too much, but honestly, it’s the social aspects that are my real hinderance to getting my b-u-t-t out of bed in the morning. The crossfit community and being social at the gym are supposed to be what keep you coming back … my problem is I think I care too much about what they think of me while I’m there and what they’re saying about me when I’m not there – more specifically the women at the gym … … I have more issues socializing with other woman than I do socializing with men … I think maybe because I have A LOT more experience socializing with men given my experience in the navy …

Anyway … maybe if I stop focusing on being social and just focus on my goals and feeling good in my body … It’ll start to feel like church …

I’m going to give this a try … I’ll let you know how it goes … hopefully I get out of bed in the morning … I’m already feeling anxious.