Whether you admit it or not, you like Facebook, too. It may be for the games, it may be catching up with old friends, or maybe you are just nosy and you want to stay in everybody’s business like I do. For one reason or another, you like Facebook, or else you wouldn’t go on there and complain about it so much.
Why do we complain? Sure, some of it has to do with the Facebook program and the fact that nothing can be created to satisfy everyone. However, I believe most of us complain because Facebook is the perfect place for people to violate each others’ pet peeves over and over again.
Sometimes, when things are going super well for me, I’ll go sign-in on Facebook and read a few statuses and comments to make sure I can keep my happiness in check. I honestly end up saying, “Why would you say that?!” at least twice a day when reading the things that people say to one another. Most of the time it seems that their motives are pure, but people often forget that we should be very intentional when we speak.
One particular pet peeve of mine on Facebook, and in life, is when people make everything about themselves. You’ve seen it. You've probably done it at one time or another. But it seems like every time I read a status that says, “Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband,” there is a 93% chance there will be a comment that says, “How cool, my anniversary is next month.” Or somebody will say, “Man, this was a rough week at work” and two or three of their “friends” will respond by sharing why their week was worse. “I think I broke my toe” is often met with a variety of broken bone stories.
Most of these comments are relatively harmless, and like I said, usually well intentioned. However, why do we have to make everything about us? There is a time when sharing in an effort to empathize can help someone, but do you really think people would tell a story in hopes that people would try to top it? How do you feel when people take something that means a lot to you and turn it into their issue?
The one that gets to me the most, and the only time when sharing your story in response to somebody’s status is always the wrong thing to do, is when someone is requesting prayer. They may be asking for prayer for the healing of a loved one, or for guidance about a life change, or for personal spiritual struggles, and people still feel the need to respond with their personal agendas.
They are requesting that their Christian brothers and sisters intercede on their behalf in their conversations with the Creator of the universe, and you believe your barely comparable story will help the situation? These people are obviously vulnerable and seeking comfort, and you think you trying to “one-up” them will help them feel better?
While this may feel like a tirade about one of my pet peeves, let’s think of it as more of a rant about something that bugs me. Is that cool?
Seriously, let’s encourage each other. There is a time and place for empathetic self-disclosure, but that only comes after a large amount of time spent listening and focusing on the needs of the person that is sharing. Let’s take some time and love on them. You’ll have your time another day.