Some of you may be wondering what the hell I’m doing still on Facebook since my epic “I hate Facebook” post a few weeks ago, so I’m gonna try to explain what has gone on.
Honestly, I have a serious love/hate relationship with Facebook. My greatest weakness in life is talking. I have always talked way too much. People who know me in real life will be the first ones nodding their heads right now, especially my husband who gets earful after earful of my rants. It is part of the reason I named my blog what I did. It’s what I do, I ramble. I either get on your nerves or make you laugh, you hate me or you love me, there really is no middle ground. I annoy most people, but ranting and rambling is what kept my kids fed for the 15 years that I bartended and waited tables. But the same rang true with customers; they either loved me or hated me. The ones that loved me tipped me well enough to cover for the ones that hated me, so it was all good in the end.
Facebook is one long conversation. Which means that I talk all.day.long. For anyone who might say “Yep, and you’re annoying”, yeah, I know. It’s part of how I learn and part of how I stay sane since I don’t work behind a bar anymore. This is good and bad, mostly bad, because I get hidden from people’s feed and because I don’t do a lot of work that I should be doing, like writing. It is easy for Facebook to become a distraction and tool of resistance from the devil. Literally.
There are times when all that talking is a good thing, like when I become friends with awesome Catholic bloggers and writers who encourage me to write and who teach me more than I could ever learn from any class or workshop.
Also there are times, like this past week, where Facebook is where I can ask for prayers when things are really hard around here. We lost one of our employees and friends suddenly 2 weeks ago and it has been so hard. My husband is heartbroken, and I’m heartbroken for him, plus we have a company to run even though we both would rather be somewhere else drinking our sorrows away. The prayers from all of our friends on Facebook have been a source of strength and comfort for us both.
It also helps me pray for others. I really suck at praying for others. Most of my prayers are full of whining and complaining to God about my problems. Which usually are “Why do I have to even get out of bed? You are SO cruel to make us get out of bed! Stupid Eve for eating that apple.” That’s pretty typical, when I should be thanking Him for all His blessings on me and my family and praying for others. Facebook helps me think about others instead of myself. When I see others post prayer requests it reminds me that not everything is about me and I have a lot to be thankful for.
The downside of Facebook is probably one of those things that most of us know, but as I was thinking about this over the past few months it hit me that Facebook is the one place where you can commit all 7 of the deadly sins at once.
1. Wrath – Nothing makes me angrier and wish that I could throw lightning bolts at people more than reading some of the stuff we (and I say WE on purpose) post. One sideways comment can have me fuming all day. And personally being that angry all the time exhausts me. I have tried to counter this by praying for those who annoy me and deleting the ones who won’t stop annoying me but who I love and want to keep as real friends in real life. So, If I have deleted you, please do not be offended or hurt, it’s not you, it’s me and I don’t want to hurt you or make rash judgments about you, because I love you. It’s really that simple. We don’t have to be FB friends to be real life friends. Let’s email, call, text, get coffee, whatever, but FB isn’t for us, because I am crazy and don’t have self-control of my mouth or my typing.
2. Greed – “Likes” are like modern gold. We all want them and sometimes it is easy for me to say something snarky, funny, or just plain rude to get them. They are like Hi-5s and I love Hi-5s! The problem is that if you sit around preaching to the choir and getting them to praise your “good points”, you turn other people away. Not everyone thinks or believes what we think and believe and we should always be witnesses of Jesus, and that means not putting ourselves on stages to get as much praise as possible and instead using our outlets as ways to attract people to what we have, which is Jesus, not the best update/comment ever.
3. Sloth – Ummm, yeah, this one is pretty self-explanatory to anyone who has walked in my house when I’m in my pj’s with no bra on and the sink is full of dishes and heard me yelling “This stupid person on Facebook is so stupid!!!”
4. Pride – Also pretty explanatory to any priest who has had to hear my confession. Facebook sets me up to think that everyone cares what I think. No, ya’ll don’t. Some do and some don’t. I don’t really post because I think that, but it’s an easy sink hole to fall into. Not just with updates, but with comments. When someone posts that they hate the Longhorns and my first instinct is to tell them to go jump in a lake, I have to remember that it doesn’t matter. Who cares what other people think? They have the right to opinions the same as I do. So, I really have worked on simply not caring about the small opinions that people post. I also try to use my lists so that people who do care about certain things get those updates, but others don’t have to suffer with them. I’m sorry that I fail a lot and blow up a lot of people’s notifications, but I am working on it, I promise. You don’t care about everything going on in my life, and you have a life, so you don’t need 50 notifications that Leticia updated her status. That answers the question “Does she realize that she posts about everything?!” Yes, yes, I do.
5. Lust – This one can be tricky because most people think of lust as in thinking other people are hot. I do have a problem with this sometimes because people will post half-naked pictures of Tyrese and it will show up in my feed and it takes an act of God ( a Grace really, and how I got to this point is a whole other story) to get me to hide it and not sit there drooling, but that isn’t the only kind of lust . Sometimes when I watch people out debate someone who is hating on the Catholic Church and I’m so gleeful about it I fall into the sin of lust. Lust for revenge. “Dear God, please just let a boulder fall on that jack wagon’s head” is lustful thinking. And I’m guilty of it. A lot.
6. Envy I read somewhere that Facebook causes depression because people compare themselves to others more now. I can totally see how that would happen. I see so many people post all the good things in their lives and not many struggles. It used to make me mad, but you know some people are private, unlike me. And that is ok. But it is not ok for me to sit there reading their stuff and wishing that I was them. I’m me, and that is all I’m supposed be worried about. I don’t talk like other Catholics, I don’t listen to the same music that they do, or like the same clothes they do, whatever it may be, we are all different and God uses us all to bring good into this world.
7. Gluttony – It’s a time suck. It’s that simple. This is probably the #1 problem with me and Facebook. I have no self-control. If I could get this one under control, we would even have to talk about the other 6.
The reason that I haven’t deactivated my account is because there are some great people who I converse with on Facebook, and they are a great support to me in my life, my faith, my writing and my prayer life. I honestly figure that if it is a place that brings out the 7 seven deadly sins the way it does, then it’s the best place to practice plenty of virtues. Virtues are holy habits, and I have to practice them every day when I log in. I am a terrible Catholic, so I sin more than I am virtuous but at-least I’m trying. I am a practicing Catholic, and by the Grace of God one day maybe I will be good at it.