An Open Letter to My Facebook Friends and Acquaintances:

I hope you enjoy your games.  We all need recreation, and I am glad that you have found a safe and inexpensive way to relax.  However, it’s not my thing; so if I don’t respond to your request to help you win points or chickens or whatever else you need, I’m still your friend.  Assume the best.

If you post beautiful pictures for everyone to see, you are sharing God’s handicraft across the cold and invisible ethernet.  I look at them and like them, but I don’t comment on them.  It’s OK–I don’t write to artists or photographers who do a good job; I see no need to praise their salespeople.  Keep the scenic vistas and dog pictures coming, but don’t expect me to forward them.  (P.S.  I have my security settings programmed to block pictures of cats, so I won’t even know if you are showing poor judgment.)

If you send me a block of letters and want me to comment on the first word I see, don’t expect an answer.  I can read and I can find hidden words.  But you need to realize that my wife has beaten me at Boggle so many times that I refuse to play with her any more.  If I won’t play the game with her, don’t expect me to play it with you.

If you send me any links to YouTube or other video sites, you should realize that my computer is slow enough that it can only show two seconds of a streaming video before it has to stop and catch its breath.  I assume that what you sent me is funny, or spectacular, or cute, and I send happy thoughts your way.  But don’t ask me if I’ve seen it, because I haven’t.  (Believe it or not, I’ve never even seen the “Gangnam Style” video that over 2 billion people have watched.  Does that make me a bad person?)

Please assume that I love Jesus, Salvation, my wife, my kids, my grandkids, America, the Second Amendment, etc.  You’ll have to assume it, because I won’t “like,” “comment,” or forward your post.  And if you send me a post telling me that I am somehow not brave or caring if I don’t re-post your status, I really don’t think my courage or compassion are any of your business.  Stop trying to “guilt” me into doing what you want!  I could say that such behavior says more about you than it does about me, but I choose to assume the best of you and your enthusiasm.

I appreciate the fact that you are posting your daily devotions on line.  Thank you for being faithful in scattering the seed of the Gospel to hundreds or thousands of people.  When I see it, I smile and pass over it.  I am currently using Morning and Evening by Spurgeon, and I really don’t think I am being sinful for not reading every spiritual note posted in this forum.  (I liken it a little to hearing someone praying aloud on the radio or TV.  Is it wicked or disrespectful if you don’t stop, bow your head, and pray along with them?  I don’t think so; I am happy to see others worshiping, even if I don’t join in.)

If you send me a picture with instructions to hit “comment” and see what happens, please assume that I am smart enough to ignore it.  Facebook postings are not interactive, and nothing can or will happen by clicking any of the buttons or writing anything in the comment space.  All it does is make your Facebook identity known to the 100,000 people who haven’t figured that out yet–and to the phisherman who started the post on its deceitful journey.

I don’t “friend” everyone who asks me to do so.  It may not be that I don’t like you; it may just be that I already have too many “friends” to keep up with.  Until enough people have been blocked or have otherwise “left the room,” I just can’t manage any more friends, even ones as close as you are, Gentle Reader.

If you start sending me posts or comments with profanity or ungodly language, activities, or comments, expect me to remove you from my list of friends.  You have the right to say or write what you want; and I have the right to limit what comes into my house.  On the other hand, if you have included naughty or nasty things in a post and I haven’t “unfriended” you yet, that’s probably because a)I thought it was a mistake, or b)I didn’t read your post that day.

I used to say I don’t “do” Facebook; in a very real sense, I still don’t.  Think of it with the help of this analogy:  I may be on the fairgrounds and walking through the midway, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to ride the roller coaster or try to win a goldfish.  I don’t feel like I need to apologize to the hucksters who try to lure me into their booths; and my lack of participation should not be construed as a bad thing.  I’m there; I enjoy seeing other people throw the darts and ride the rides; and I’m OK with that level of involvement.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t want to be judged by my reluctance to respond to everyone who asks me to do so.  Please assume the best of me, even when I don’t answer the invitation to join your party.