Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | October 14, 2011

Offending people on Facebook


If you are active on Facebook, chances are you will offend someone with your status, your photos, your comments, your posts of videos, articles and personal opinions.  Most likely, the people you will offend most are friends.  And you’ll know about it, too, either directly or indirectly.  First, let me just say that it is not my intention (most of the time) to offend anyone.  I am enjoying the freedom to express myself through social media just like everyone else.  I enjoy sharing things I think are humorous because I want my friends to laugh, too.  I also enjoy sharing newsworthy items because some of my friends may not have access to local human interest stories if they have moved out of state.

I enjoy rallying behind my sports teams and commiserating over a loss.  I enjoy chatting with a friend who lets me into her life to pray for her and encourage her when she’s going through a hard time.  I love how Facebook has helped me reconnect with long lost friends and family.  In some ways, it’s truly a gift.

I also enjoy sharing my faith through timely articles written by others, book reviews of the Christian books I’ve read and Scripture quoted in my status.  I love sharing a laugh or an awww through the many cute things my daughter says each day, week, month and I enjoy reading what my friends’ children are saying and doing.  In this technological age, we can share so much.  Maybe too much.  Like how I feel about halloween… No, I don’t like halloween, and I believe that we, as Christians, shouldn’t celebrate it.  (Click here to read the article I posted a couple of years ago).  You may have your own opinion and that’s okay with me, but let me have mine.  I enjoy letting my kids dress up and go to fall festivals.  I enjoy carving pumpkins (or, rather, watching my husband carve pumpkins).  It’s the actual making a big deal out of it and the trick-or-treating I don’t particularly care for and believe that we should be wary of what we are doing.

If we line our values and beliefs up with what the world is doing, are we doing anything any different?  We are vocal about abortion, politics, freedom of speech, immigration law and immorality, but when we act differently aren’t we negating our words?

I am who I am.  I’m a Christian wife and mother. I am secure in my faith, and I share it with others.  I apologize for those I’ve offended, but chances are I’ll keep doing it.  I’m often offended by what some of my friends post, but most of the time it’s not worth losing a friend over.  I can’t tell you how many friends I’ve lost over my feelings about halloween and other issues as well.  I’m hoping my friends reading this will give me the benefit of the doubt.  I just never thought opinions about halloween was grounds to end a friendship, but it has happened.  For the record, if you celebrate halloween, I won’t think any differently about you or seek to terminate our friendship.

 

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Responses

  1. aww,Honey. I’m sorry. I guess I thought you knew I was primarily tongue-in-cheek about it. I am so sorry if I hurt your feelings or anyone on your post. It was a thought provoking post and I agree that we should not promote or participate in anything that pushes anything other than Christian values. Having said that,I know most of us grew up participating in Halloween silliness and I don’t think any of us do or ever have worshipped satan. I guess I need to be careful what I reply lest I do the offending. Mea culpa. Hope you will forgive and just know that I was being my snarky self. Actually, I think the kids should bring candy around and give it to me, but that didn’t fly. Love you and value your friendship and all your writings, they are so thought provoking.

  2. The prophet’s task, and ours, is to comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable. Most of the time when people are offended, it is because they know in their heart what is said is correct, but they don’t want to admit it, for the fear of losing control, status, power, wealth, comfort, security, etc. Just look at Jesus and Pharisees.
    The only thing that you say that is offensive to me is “War Eagle!” 🙂

    • True. And actually some people are so prickly that they are always looking for offense so they can spout off and show their “righteousness”. Not all of us are on the same level of awareness of spiritual things as others, but as Christians, the Holy Spirit will convict us. I think losing a friendship is more of a sin than any disagreement over doctrine or interpretation. Talk about satan making a double play!

  3. You know, I re-read your blog post. Something else has happened, hasn’t it? I hate to know that. You always make thoughtful posts and they are sometimes thought provoking. You would think friends could talk openly about things and be willing to accept influence from others if appropriate. I didn’t know why you posted the Halloween post bc you didn’t comment much, but I thought it was up for lively debate. If anyone was offended with your post, they need to grow up! If I contributed any fuel to the fire, I regret it so much. I don’t like trick or treat either, but I do like the “fall harvests”, the fellowship of letting kids dress up in fanciful costumes. Last year I turned my light off and didn’t give out candy and I felt bad about it. I missed seeing all the kids and their parents. Sometimes I don’t give candy, I give stickers or something. Jill, I just hate that this has happened whatever it is. A real friend does not leave your side over something like this.

  4. You know, I know you do not know me, but I was looking up “offending people on facebook” and your blog showed up immediately. I want to take a minute and say I am much like you. I feel that if I can’t share my feelings with my “friends” than they are no friend at all. Recently I posted something on facebook, and wouldn’t you know it, I accidently shared it with people that it was somewhat intended toward, but nothing rude by any means, just something I felt because of the crazed full stream of baby bellies. Well, I got so many comments and didn’t understand why certain people who I didn’t intend on sharing it with, responded…. I didn’t want to offend people and make it seem like I was being mean toward them, but I just needed to have it be said.
    Thank you for writing this blog post. It was truly insightful and I appreciate your thoughts!

    • Thanks for the comment…Jill

  5. Thank you for posting this. I’ve been struggling for a while with the realization that I’m pretty sure I offended some people I care about by posting my passionate political views on fb. Of course it’s not the first time I’ve posted something that I later wondered whether I should have shared it; and for no other reason than I don’t want to alienate people. I don’t want to hurt anyone or hurt our relationship. However, there are times when my zeal just gets the best of me I guess! In a perfect world we could all share our thoughts with one another without getting offended with each other; but here we are. After reading your blog and some of its responses, I know I’m not alone and I feel better about that. I will lift my head and go about my day and trust God to bring peace to my friends. Thank you and God bless you.

    • Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog…Jill


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