On Wednesday, Jim Josephson, 39, spent 15 minutes reading the Facebook status updates and shared posts of friends. He then decided not to comment on any of them.
In a candid statement published on his LinkedIn page, Josephson wrote about his experience:
“It was rough for me,” he wrote. “I like conversation as much as the next person. Take an extreme statement that I disagree with and I’ll tell you about it. Make a well-considered post about the people I disagree with and I’ll share it with everyone. And say anything at all about puppies and I’m with you.
“But early Wednesday morning, I was reading my mail, like I always do. There was a message that had been forwarded to me from a guy named James. He talked about it not being good enough to just read stuff from God, we need to do it. It was an interesting point. But it made some sense.
“Then James talks about how stuff we say is like a fire. It can ignite whole forests. When I was scrolling through my friends’ posts, I started noticing that my chest was tightening and my temper was heating up. And comments on some statuses added up so quickly that it was like a fire spreading. And I knew that I had to stop just reading and do something. So I did something. I took my fingers off the keyboard. With the mouse, I closed Facebook.
“I’m not sure what to think about this. I mean, after a few minutes, the knot in my stomach relaxed. But I’m pretty sure I’ll start wondering what’s happening to my friends. But maybe I’ll just call them. No one on the phone ever talks about puppies.”
Some of Josephson’s friends shared his statement on Facebook. There are several comments supporting and condemning him.