I have several people whose writing I appreciate. They are putting into words things I am thinking about. I tend to not share some of it. Even sharing it would invite arguments that I don’t know enough how to moderate. Even reading it, however, stirs up feelings of frustration and anxiety. I can, unfortunately, believe that those people are thinking and doing and saying those things.
You know the feeling, too. And some of you have had the wisdom to moderate your intake.
I loved the concept of social media when it started. I’ve long studied ways that content is shaped and shared by organizations and institutions. The idea of “social” as in “interactive with each other” in contrast to “broadcast” was (and is) compelling.
I’m realizing, however, that I often am not social on these platforms, interacting with, conversing with, taking into account others. Instead, I turn the flow of individual sharings into a flow of content. So now I scroll through a feed of what you share the way I watch “Fixer to Fabulous” or “The Legacy List”. It’s interesting and distracting and then I forget your (friend A) pain because I get distracted by your (friend B) outrage.
In August, I’m going to make every effort to switch part of the informal flow of content that I consume from Facebook to Mark. And Luke, probably. And maybe John. And likely Matthew. I want to reflect on how Jesus relates to people and in particular, to people who are in need. I need to spend time away from the constant beating up on other people and think about the peacefulness of the context of Jesus. I mean except for the ways some religious leaders were verbally beating up on some people with physical limitations. And some people who were racially outcast. And some people who were women. And some people who were theologically suspect.
Okay. So maybe the feed won’t be that different.
But attending to how Jesus responds may be particularly helpful, since watching responses in my feeds isn’t helping me.
Because my reading will be flowing into my writing here at 300, I’m aware that I’ll be contributing to the stream of content you are watching. I appreciate the irony. I will do my best to be helpful.