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This post has been a long time coming. I don’t do a whole lot of ranting here, except about my crazy kids and bad mothering.
But it all started a thousand Internet years ago when my sweet, pure-hearted friend Amanda went to the Nestle headquarters in California with a bunch of bloggers. They all came absolutely under attack by the mommy-blogging “community” (isn’t a community supposed to be a good thing?) for supporting Nestle when Nestle sells baby formula in third-world countries or something like that.
I was flabbergasted at the mean-spirited attack on them. I mean yes, you can have your opinions. No one is going to deny you that. But is it really worth hurting other people to express them in such a rude manner?
Since that day, I’ve wondered if social media doesn’t give us overinflated views of our own opinions.
Lately, I’ve noticed on Facebook several instances where a friend has asked a question and rather than answer the question, this person’s “friends” have responded by criticizing their choices.
One friend asked her page’s followers when they started swallowing pills, as she had discovered—from her own pediatrician—that her child was large and old enough to swallow a small adult painkiller or something of the sort.
I think 75% of the answers were, “Don’t you dare give your child any adult medicine! Or any medicine at all! You’re evil! You’re going to kill him!” Or, you know, something like that.
Um, is that what she asked?
Then yesterday I saw where another friend posted about trying to bake fluffy bread at home. She was asking for tips, and mentioned adding vital wheat gluten to the dough.
And again, half of the comments were “Gluten is evil! Gluten is bad for everyone!” One commenter compared gluten to soda in terms of health.
REALLY? I’m pretty sure she wasn’t asking for commentary on her health choices or whether or not she should be eating gluten-free. I was glad when my friend politely called out the commenter for being rude. She was nicer than I would have been, I think.
Look, friends. We all have our opinions on everything, whether you realize it or not. But just because social media allows us to put these opinions out there does not mean you have to supply an opinion, especially when it’s not solicited. I find that most of the time, feeling like you NEED to express your opinion on something at every turns shows an insecurity about your own choices and feelings. If something really gets you uptight, maybe you need to dig deeper into what your issue really is with that topic.
What I am not saying is that we shouldn’t condemn the ungodly, unbiblical things … although I don’t think social media is the place for that, either. Privately, with much prayer, confront those issues.
But as I’m pretty sure it doesn’t say anything about baby formula, gluten intolerance, or swallowing Advil in the Bible, could we maybe choose to let some things go every once in awhile? I think relationships should always win over feeling like you’re in the right.
What do you think?