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my random ramblings about crafts, writing, books and kids

When ideologies collide on facebook

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Facebook is great for a lot of things. For me, the best part is being able to keep in touch with family that lives on the other side of the country. Without facebook I’d have no idea what was going on with everyone. I love being able to log in and find out what my cousin’s son is doing in Michigan or how my aunt’s vacation is going in Florida or how my old neighbor is still warring with the crazy lady next door.

But facebook has a much darker side, too. First of all, there’s all those highly addictive games. They’re sneaky and will get you every time. The games lead to the second most evil thing about facebook: game requests. No, I don’t want to help you on Candy Crush, please stop asking!

My biggest issue, though, is dealing with people on my friends’ list that have vastly different social, religious, and political ideas than me. As an atheist, facebook has been great for finding other atheists to commiserate with, but on the flip side I have to deal with people spamming my feed with stuff about god. It goes on and on, sometimes ten or fifteen posts in a row about how much god loves us or how Jesus will save us. Anti-abortion, anti-gay rights, pro-guns, pro-military, pro-crazy rancher in Nevada. Ultra conservative Evangelical Christian Republicans who believe their view is the only right one. Bob forbid you disagree with them.

An easy solution to the last one is to just not respond to their posts. Which I don’t. But they’re still there. Dozens of them, several times a day, making me wade through them to find updates I actually want to read.

The dilemma, though, is do I block them, unfriend them, ask them to stop, suck it up, or just quit using facebook?

Option three would just be rude–it’s a free country and they can post whatever they want. I shouldn’t have to quit a site or sit quietly and endure and bunch of crap I don’t want to see, though. So that leaves blocking or unfriending? But can you really do that if they are family.

I wouldn’t mind if it was one or two things here and there. I don’t mind when other family members post things about their beliefs, but they don’t go overboard. And I don’t go crazy posting twenty atheist posts in a row. In fact I post nothing about atheism because it gets those family members in a tizzy. Then I get IMs wanting to know why I can’t just believe, and don’t I know how much god loves me, and “I just don’t understand, but I’ll pray for you.” Gee thanks.

I love my family, even the crazy religious members, but I’m not sure I can take much more of the spamming. I don’t want to start some family tiff either.

I guess for now I’ll just have to suck it up. Which, well, sucks.

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2 thoughts on “When ideologies collide on facebook

  1. OMG this is exactly one of the reasons I don’t use my RL FB account. It’s more problematic for me because I’m a liberal Christian; I’m OK with people worshipping/not worshipping whatever the hell they want, but fundamentalist political wank and vapid idolatry annoy me to the point I just log out of FB.

    FB has recently implemented a limited feed filter; if you click in the upper-right of a post, a menu appears that lets you select viewing/hiding/reporting preferences. I tried it the other day, but because I don’t stay on FB for more than a few minutes once a month or so, I can’t tell how effective it is.

    A few years ago I DID figure out how to hide all game requests, though. That was a relief.

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  2. Jen Connelly on said:

    I wrote out an update last night mentioning something about how religious people get to talk about their beliefs all they want without anyone batting an eye, but if an atheist mentions their beliefs (that god isn’t real, the Bible is a myth–which is what I believe) everyone goes nuts.

    Luckily the replies I got were from my sane friends and family–who are all Christians. That’s the first time I’ve really posted anything that has to do with my religious beliefs, or lack there of. It was a relief to see the responses.

    I knew about the arrow in the corner of posts but for individuals the only option is to block them completely. I did block one of the pages my aunt shares from. I think I’m going to do that. Every time she posts something, I’m blocking that sight from my feed. That might help. I don’t read the crap anyway.

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