Graphics With Text.
It seems like we’re starting to become more revealing on social media about how we feel about a lot of things. One step at a time though, right?
I’ve seen a lot of these graphics-with-text posted on social media that express feelings about different issues. Through apps or websites, you can find something to say pretty much about any feeling or issue out there. You can find categories ranging from marriage, religion, and life in the work place.
One thing is pretty consistent with these graphics-with-text is that they are kind of sarcastic and snark-loaded. They have this eire of, “hey idiot, you are the bane of my existence.” Some are even borderline racist or contain under-the-radar cultural prejudices. Some of them engage issues like excessive drinking, conveying that excess is ok because it’s commonplace.
The thing is, social media offers us the opportunity to post status, blogs etc. Why are we posting these little snark-laden graphics instead of opening a status post and saying, “[Insert person’s name here] was a jerk at work today because [insert reasons here.]”
Does indirectly communicating a person’s feelings with a graphic expression actually make things better or fix a problem? Or - does it express a feeling about a problem, but stave off possible push-back, because it’s technically communicated by someone else?
If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably wondering, what does this have to do with being a Church worker?
Oddly enough, these ecards or graphic expressions remind me of notes I see around the church. I’ve seen them at my church and at other churches. You know, pieces of various colored office paper with sarcastic ism’s with ALL CAPS and !!!!’s. Example(s):
"WHAT PART OF ‘PROPERTY OF [ministry name]’ DID YOU NOT UNDERSTAND??!!"
"NON-CHURCH ITEMS IN THE CHURCH REFRIGERATOR WILL BE THROWN OUT IMMEDIATELY!!!"
"DO NOT USE THESE CABINETS - ANY NON-(ministry name) CONTENTS WILL BE THROWN OUT!!!"
Not really sensing that Christ-centeredness from those “advisories.” Sometimes we leave notes for people that don’t reveal who we really are or how we really feel.
I wrote an entry a while back about a guy at my church who actually cursed at me to convey anger, even though it was misdirected. I don’t know what to respect more - the real expression of anger or the crappy notes we find all over our churches.
Have you ever led a ministry where people use their absence to communicate that they are hurt or unhappy about something that’s going on? Like all of a sudden, they just stop coming, and when you try to find out what happened, it’s too late.
And sarcasm, I think it’s meant to be funny sometimes, but what it actually does is transfer a person’s anger to most everyone who reads it.
Any fans of “The Office?” It reminds me of that episode where Pam wrote a note and left it note on the break room microwave where someone’s lunch had exploded:
"The microwave is a SHARED kitchen appliance.
By not cleaning it up, you are basically telling whoever follows that their time is less valuable, as they will have to scrub out your disgusting splatter.
Pam thought a kind of sarcastic reminder would prompt the culprit to clean it out, but it brought forth contention from the office instead, and more attention to the sarcastic note instead of its core purpose.
I’m admittedly throwing out a lot of thoughts about struggling with interpersonal communication. It all comes together though, when we have to admit that we are afraid to communicate. When we try, we have trouble keeping things real. Lots of sarcasm, righteous indignation, defensiveness… Walls.
What is God’s role in that? Are we really inviting God into it? How can we invite God into it? Lots of meetings begin with lots of prayers but end in disaster.
May we stop posting sarcastic crap on our social media walls, and if we can’t express an honest thought from our own hands, or even our mouths, may we remain silent and faithful until we can. It’s what we’re called to do.
Check out | Ecclesiastes 5:2
Totally Random | Music Recommendations
A Winged Victory For The Sullen - Self-titled
Josh Kramer - Afterglow
Wilson - Tense Night Eighties
Steely Dan - Aja