January 24, 2022

The Comment Section

 Devotion for the Week...

When you're scrolling social media and come across a potentially divisive post, do you then pause to read through the comment section? I sometimes do, then I end up shaking my head over how quickly and how harshly people attack each other. With some comments, I can't even figure out how the attacker has gone from what was written in the post or the comment they're responding to, to what they're accusing the other person of thinking, feeling or believing. It's like they're just roaming social media looking for any excuse to jump all over someone in judgement.

Those comment sections were exactly what I thought of earlier this week when I read Psalm 34:14, "Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it." All I could think was, "Well, that's not happening on social media!" People seem more drawn to drama than to peace, especially when it comes to online interactions.

If we are going to search for and maintain peace, maybe we should start by staying out of those divisive comment sections altogether. Sure, there is work to be done in the world and there are people who are wrong; no doubt about either of those things. But does wading into the comment section on someone's IG or FB post really make a difference in either case? Probably not. Staying out of it dramatically increases our own peace and also keeps us from adding fuel to the online fire. It's a win/win. 

There's not much peace to be found in the comment section | DevotedQuilter.com

One important thing to note is that God never tells us to maintain peace at the expense of justice. This isn't a 'maintain the status quo at all costs' kind of peace. Or a 'don't say anything that might upset someone' kind of peace. Jesus had plenty of criticism for the status quo of His day and the ways the religious leaders were harming the people while increasing their own comfort and status. He spoke His mind about what He saw without worrying about how it might upset them. Wrong is wrong and needs to be pointed out. Just maybe not in the comment section on FB.

7 comments:

  1. I got off Twitter about a year ago because of all the negativity and basically unfollowed friends and family of FB that only had negative posts. My FB feed was mostly quilting posts and a couple of the local news media. I would do the same thing and read the comments. I have now stopped the media posts in an effort to try to make my life more peaceful. Quilt posts only!

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  2. Great post and I agree with you. I also closed my Twitter account about a year ago due to negativity. But sometimes when post threads turn negative I will simply post something more encouraging, in an attempt to turn things into a positive spin such as "speak kind words". It is good for my inner peace to simply ignore and stop reading, but on the other hand I hope that there is a benefit of being able to encourage kindness and if we always look away, maybe the negativity will only grow.

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  4. The comment section can be a terrible place. I often avoid the comments, often to the detriment of not providing a positive comment or encouragement. Sometimes my own peace takes priority.

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  5. It is for this very reason that I have opted not to participate in Facebook. It just seems like a cesspool of ugliness and hatred. I am thankful for the online quilting community, whose default mode is more cheer leading than criticism (at least in my experience).

    Your last point especially rings true for me. After all, Jesus said, "Blessed are the peace makers," not "Blessed are the peace keepers." Sometimes being a peace maker means confronting people, having difficult discussions, and moving out of your comfort zone.

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