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You Have Been De-friended… 02/15/2013

Posted by pastorhigdon in Uncategorized.

Think before you post


I received sad news early this week, someone who I have a great deal of respect for posted on Facebook that he would be leaving Facebook permanently. He could no long deal with the “negativity, the name calling, and the horrible way people are treated and discussed” It reminded me that, like my friend, I was faced with that same decision a few months earlier.

To be honest, I really enjoy the ability to keep up with the lives of family and friends that I would most certainly lose contact with otherwise. I have enjoyed reconnecting with friends from high school who I hadn’t communicated with for over thirty years, and I have to admit that with the way our young people use Facebook, I even know what is going on with my own kids much faster by keeping up with their pictures, games and posts.

For me, a few months ago, I reached a tipping point with Facebook, Although I certainly enjoyed the connection with others, like my friend, I could no longer tolerate the mean spirited, divisive rhetoric that I was being subjected to every time I got on the computer. I will also let you in on a little secret; unfortunately, the worst offenders were my clergy “friends.” You would think that they would know better!

So, I made the difficult (and somewhat painful) decision to de-friend (or is it un-friend, I never know for sure) several of the most offensive posters. And, since that time, my blood pressure has been lower, my outlook has been better and I haven’t dreaded the thought of clicking on Facebook anymore. (I really do enjoy the pictures of kids and dogs and stories and…)

Too often we just “know” that we are right, too often we are filled with such an incredible sense of righteous indignation that we just feel the need to “tell it like it is”. We say to ourselves, “I live in a free country, and I can say whatever I want!” The sad thing is that when we feel so confident that we are telling it like it is…we are really only telling it like we perceive it to be, and sometimes we are wrong.

I want to share one of my favorite stories with you that makes this point better than anything I could ever say. It is simply titled “The Cookie Thief”

The Cookie Thief
by Valerie Cox
A woman was waiting at an airport one night,
With several long hours before her flight.
She hunted for a book in the airport shops.
Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.

She was engrossed in her book but happened to see,
That the man sitting beside her, as bold as could be.
Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag in between,
Which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene.

So she munched the cookies and watched the clock,
As the gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock.
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by,
Thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I would blacken his eye.”

With each cookie she took, he took one too,
When only one was left, she wondered what he would do.
With a smile on his face, and a nervous laugh,
He took the last cookie and broke it in half.

He offered her half, as he ate the other,
She snatched it from him and thought… oooh, brother.
This guy has some nerve and he’s also rude,
Why he didn’t even show any gratitude!

She had never known when she had been so galled,
And sighed with relief when her flight was called.
She gathered her belongings and headed to the gate,
Refusing to look back at the thieving ingrate.

She boarded the plane, and sank in her seat,
Then she sought her book, which was almost complete.
As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise,
There was her bag of cookies, in front of her eyes.

If mine are here, she moaned in despair,
The others were his, and he tried to share.
Too late to apologize, she realized with grief,
That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief.

How many times in our lives, have we absolutely known that something was a certain way, only to discover later that what we believed to be true … was not?

Oh, by the way, my friend who decided to give up Facebook was overwhelmed with pleas from family and friends not to quit. He even heard from a former student who told my friend that he made the decision not to commit suicide because of a conversation that they had on Facebook, a conversation which demonstrated to the young man that he did have something and someone to live for. So he decided to stay on Facebook! (Well… after he does a significant amount of de-friending)

So before you consider hitting the send button on that next political post (or any post,) ask yourself these simple questions: Is it true? Is it helpful? Is it inspiring? Is it necessary? And perhaps most important of all…Is it kind? You never know who might be considering de-friending you 🙂




1. Judy Schoonover - 02/16/2013

Have read that story before but not in poem form…and have thought about it…I would live in quilt for a long time if I had been the lady…but then i think, I hope I wouldn’t have had the thoughts to begin with…as far as defriending goes…I have only done that a few times…BUT, I have hid many people because of the negativity…but to go off FB for good…I think that would leave such a hole in my life and heart. That sounds superficial, I know but I do love chatting with family, old friends and have made a few new ones along the way…Jim, it was BF, before Facebook, but we met through your blog and I know there have been many times I have gone to you for support and just to whine a little…so to the computer, I say thank you….do what you can to be positive, delete the negative and hostile and “It will be what it will be” 🙂 🙂 🙂

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