How to use Facebook and Twitter for actual conversation

And Instagram and every other program I won’t know about for another year or so.

I start by confessing that I am about the worst offender in the start a political/religious fight via social media. Barely-subconsciously, I’d say it was even a motivating reason to start facebooking in the first place. And meet girls (before I met my wife, that is). And as for that latter reason, I don’t think that’s bad unless you are trying to meet the wrong girls, and frankly most dating is in search of the wrong girl. It only took me about 35 years to realize that.

But I digress.

Lately–in kind of a cyclical way–I’ve been trying to dial back the politicizing. I had my say. It fell on deaf ears, and frankly I pray “thy kingdom come”, so it would be kind of hypocritical to worry too much about what political “solutions” are being cooked up this time around. That plus, I am reminded again of the hypocrisy of “It was bad when you’re guy did it, and is okay when my guy does it.”

But some are inevitable because they intersect with faith. Scripture deals with all kinds of human behavior and experiences, so you can’t talk about what Elohim is teaching you, without mentioning what someone is discussing. And if we have nothing good to say because of what we believe, then of what value is our faith?

So, I sat down to tweet someone something. They had said something that made me want to puke about Trump’s election. I voted Third Party by the way (like how I capped that?). But the protests against Trump after the election are just juvenile dishonesty. You want to protest his election? You had your chance, it was called the election. That’s what I did. Now, what good are you doing? Nothing, in fact you’re making it worse. Why? Because in all you’re griping there isn’t an ounce of honest self-reflection. All this talk of stolen elections, and no one on the left (correct me if I’m wrong) can say: It wasn’t stolen. It was thrown away because we put a totally untrustworthy candidate on the ballot. It wasn’t won fair and square, but it was lost fair and square.

So, I fired off a couple of those. And someone said something back, and I had this epiphany. I wasn’t really interested in what they were saying. I was just using them as a springboard to say what I wanted to say. In my own defense, I think that’s true of most tweeterists. And facebookerists. But it is a problem.

What is the point of saying anything if it’s not directed at the question presented? Blasting Trump tacitly denies that Hillary was a terrible candidate. Refusing to acknowledge that only makes Hillary opponents look completely unreachable to half the country. And the inverse is true, the mindless support of Trump makes the trumpists appear completely unrecognizable.

It occurs to me that some of this (not all, not even most) of this could be combated, if we just listened to what the other side was actually saying. Replying to the substance of it, and not just ready-fire.

I hate saying that sort of thing, because it sounds like hippy-dippieness. I listen to Glen Beck (among others including catholic radio, protestant radio (?), and a little bit of NPR). And he talks alot about listening, and I just want to shout at him: Glen, it’s not a communication problem! It’s a fundamental belief problem! It’s a spiritual problem! And I believe that’s true. The elite of Yeshua’s (Jesus) day didn’t kill Him because He failed to communicate. It was because they understand enough of what He said to be threatened by it. They killed Him for envy because He was good, and they were wicked. Just like every prophet who was killed because they condemned wickness. God is not opposed by the many because He doesn’t know how to communicate!

But at the same time . . . there is something to be said for delivery. Yeshua was obviously the best communicator. His message continues to spread to this day–but have no delusions that it isn’t spread often with the death of the messenger. Perhaps, that’s why we don’t have a lot of martyrs in America? Because we don’t communicate what He did? Yet, many of the prophets came before Him, and the Brit Chadasha (New Testament) is clear that none of them were as perfect messengers. In them, the message and messenger were not perfectly united. Like the way Moshe, the great teacher of Isra’el, failed to sanctify HaShem when he struck the rock the second time. Every messenger before Yeshua failed because their flesh got in the way.

So is our flesh getting into our tweets and wall posts? A quick scroll of my own, makes me think yes. So what if we didn’t answer our tweets right away? Of course, the thread would get old and over baked before we said anything, and maybe that means we weren’t supposed to respond. But at least, we could take the time to really try to connect with the person on the other end. Again, what’s the point of speaking if it’s not to someone else? Tweets to our audience of fellow snipers will never accomplish much.

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