I Make Long Facebook Statuses

A long time ago in an internet far away, Facebook limited the number of characters you could use in your status. Seriously, if you exceeded the arbitrary and astonishingly short length the company thought was necessary to convey a complete thought, you’d receive a dialog box rather coldly stating that your status was too long.

This was much to my chagrin, but like the baby elephant tied to the stump I was trained to keep my Facebook statuses short and sweet long after they removed the restrictions and allowed posts long enough to overrun all known civilization.

Lately, however, I find the length of my posts to be creeping back up there into the stratosphere. Fifty words. A hundred. I believe I recently published my first 200 word post the other day. And, you know what? I’m perfectly okay with that!

Facebook had long been marred down by mindless link-sharing and endless advertisements, a necessary evil due to the fact that everyone’s on it and we’re all waking around with smartphones growing out of our left wrists. I am but one individual, but perhaps I can do my part in attempting to turn the tide. To make Facebook a place of contemplative philosophy, not trite expressions that do nothing for nobody. A place of individual art and photography, not another dreadful meme affixed to a cutting opinion.

We’re all sick with a virus that we keep on catching, unwilling to sanitize the problem for fear we might lose our high technology as a consequence. But our disease is making us bitter, and making us see the world, or rather a digital symbol of it, as an ugly place.

So I will make long Facebook statuses, even if they don’t get any “likes.” (Though strangely, they often do.) I’m done caring about little red numbers at the top of my screen. My hope is that you are at that point too, because if you are, you can be a part of making things better. Post a long Facebook status. Post something original. Post a video of you doing something cool. Whatever you want to do, just post something different that the link-bait fueled mess bludgeoning us with opinions that the lowest-tier social media has become. People are better than that.

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Hashtags and Hypocrites

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You see it all the time. You’re on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Then you stumble across it. Somebody posts a generic image macro that mentions God or Jesus. A bit of nausea swells up inside of you as one word surfaces to the top of your mind. “Hypocrite.”

Or maybe I’m just describing my sense of disgust. But it isn’t just myself. Allow me to copy the “pitch” that suggester Myra Boulware gave me to write about. 

“I was basically talking about how easy it is these days to make everyone think you’re a Christian. Because it’s so easy to put a religious hashtag at the end of a Facebook status or a tweet. People who portray themselves as Christians without actually living Christian lives.”

The words spoken here are so huge that I don’t even need to type this blog, but then it wouldn’t be much of a post. 

I can’t tell you how frustrating it is that this is so prevalent in social media society today. Don’t people understand that sharing an image that’s been shared by a thousand other hypocrites doesn’t mean that they’re living a Christian lifestyle? 

And I’m not even directly downing those images, although they are both frustrating and a waste of time. What’s wrong is when I see a religious picture, followed by a provocative picture or a picture of that person hardcore partying. I don’t care if you can find a way to justify these actions, they are not conducive of a relationship with Christ. 

When your social media life is a duality between worldly and religious, it wounds the minds of people who don’t know Christ. That automatically makes nonbelievers question the validity of the Christians who actually are shining examples for Christ. It fractures the respect of people who don’t know God.

The most important thing we as Christians have is our consistency. We are expected to live a life free of the fluctuations than sin ushers.

This is not unrealistic, because living a life of consistency is something I try to do every day. The issue comes with people see a direct conflict in one person that claims to share my faith. I don’t like that. It’s embarrassing. I not perfect, but I try to be at least spiritually consistent in the things I do and the ways I act. 

I hate to say this, but people are hypocrites on Facebook because it’s a shallow way to achieve short-term fulfillment. People ride the highs of these short public experiences thinking it makes them a better person. But it doesn’t. Sharing those images that make little sense and Bible verses that simply turn into out-of-context words is ultimately never fulfilling. And those “spiritual” Twitter hashtags that are nothing but high-powered social weapons. They just make you more fake.

I just want to see a world where people respect one another for their beliefs. Ultimately, I want to see that respect and love lead to people finding the one true God. Destroying those ideas in people over social media is nothing but devastating for people searching for the truth.

I’m sorry to report this, but social media is an arena for hypocrites. Hashtags and hypocrites.

[Thanks Myra Boulware for the suggestion!]

The Diminishment of Independence

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Culture. A collection of ideas and actions shared by a community of people. Culture is, in my opinion, one of the greatest advancements of human beings. Even greater, I feel, are the people who are willing to explore cultures that are different than their own. But what I’m talking about today is not culture as much as it is assimilation. 

We as Americans are becoming a culture of followers, it seems. We are losing our independence. 

We use the same social media, which you probably used to come to this blog. We shop at the same stores. We use the same phones. We watch the same TV. 

I’m seeing a lot less self-determination and a lot more of a herd mentality that I thought human beings abandoned long ago. I don’t want us to be a society of “hipsters,” no, but I do want us to be more than simply the common denominator of humanity. I want us to think for ourselves, and not let the corrupting power of a few smart people define us. 

The world is a complicated interweaving of ideas and knowledge, and if we don’t know how to think for ourselves, I fear that that world will simply fall apart. Think for yourself. Don’t let someone else do it for you. Don’t just take what you get from society or advertising or the media or even preachers. Recover your independence.