Nothing brings out the two very different worlds I live in more than social media. It seems to heighten around events, be it our current Covid-19 crisis, or the recent shooting of Ahmaud Arbery.
Our response to the Covid-19 crisis has been understandably complicated. Initially, there were those who thought it to be a hoax, as our President had promoted in rallies, and via tweets. Some were not so sure. But when it became clear that surely this virus had arrived in the US, and the number of cases and resulting deaths began to rise, shelter in place orders shut us all in our homes.
Some saw this as an over-reaction. Some saw it as an appropriate response as it was being recommended by scientists and doctors.
On my Facebook feed, I have friends that are black and white, and Christian friends – black and white. In my feed, I’ve seen posts questioning the legitimacy of shutting down the economy, not wanting the cure (the stay at home policies, shutting down non-essential businesses,) to be worse than the problem, while others not necessarily embracing the need to stay at home, social distancing from family, but accepting it as the necessary medicine.
Conspiracy theories and opinions abound. We are all doing our own research or sharing posts that we think may provide support for our positions because we do have a lot of time, right? We are all definitely suffering from various stages of cabin fever. We are all desperate to get things back to normalcy.
It’s just that our responses are different. Since I am a Christian, most of my Facebook friends are Christian. All of us want to go back to church. Some of my friends question why we should still be under this tight restriction, church is essential, while my other friends are going along with the restrictions for the good of others. Again, all of us want to go back to church.
Some of my friends call President Trump, “45” or “not my president”, while some love him and think that he’s the greatest president ever. Of course, there are some in-between.
There was a recent shooting in Georgia of a 25-year old black young man, gunned down while jogging in a neighborhood by two white men. I have seen many posts of hurt, and outrage, and “I run with Ahmaud” to celebrate his birthday yesterday, May 9; while there has been virtually complete silence from my other friends. It is not on their radar.
But on the converse, whenever there is a shooting of a police offiicer, there has been sympathy from both sides, yes, both sides, and that always warms my heart.
I live in two worlds on social media. Sometimes, it gets hard to read what some of my friends post and posts they ignore. Sometimes I have to quickly scroll by posts because I don’t want to think differently of the one who posts. I love my friends. I really do. I recognize that we all have flaws. We are all sinners rescued. We just have different experiences. We are seeing the same events through different lenses, and those lenses are already shaped by our own personal environments.
It just makes me wonder.