When I first created a Facebook account, I was excited. I took the time to fill out the questionnaire. I uploaded photos and artwork and got ready to participate in a global phenomenon. I got friend requests from fundamentalist Christian and / or extreme right-wing family members, followed by friend requests from local fundamentalist Christian acquaintances. There were only a few non-religious people and I did not know them very well.
The influx of fundies was predictable. What I should have predicted was the influx of friend requests from people with whom I attended Christian grade school, Christian high school and Christian college.
By this time I had figured out that fundamentalist Christians will, without exception, without guilt and without honor, proselytize you and then dump you as soon as it becomes evident you will not be swayed without good evidence. They will do so even if they have promised not to and then somehow forget they ever made such a promise. I've noticed that Christians have an uncanny ability to forget past events that cast them in a bad light. How do they do this? I wish I could forget all the crappy things I've done.
Because of Facebook, people I had spent thirty years trying to avoid wormed their way back into my life. With each new friend request I felt compelled to out myself as an atheist. Why? I hate living a lie and didn't want awkward moments. What is an awkward moment to me? Old "friends" assuming I'm still brainwashed and treating me accordingly. When this happens, I invariably opt for the truth. I don't go out of my way to create conflict, but if I am honest with a fundamentalist Christian, conflict is an intrinsic part of the interaction. Even liberal Christians will often try to remove themselves from your sphere of influence, especially if you strongly feel religion is mostly harmful. I happen to strongly feel religion is mostly harmful.
Two weeks after creating my Facebook account, I no longer wanted it. Yeesh. In order to be myself, I would have to block my family, community members and keep two or three freethinkers.
So I decided to create another account based on my atheism. As I've already pointed out in several posts, atheists have only one thing in common. They don't believe in deities. Other than that, everything is up to debate. When I joined an atheist Facebook group, I suddenly had hundreds of atheist "friends" I didn't know whose world views and interests collided with my own. I didn't want my Facebook experience to be one of contention and atheists are a very contentious lot.
So, I shut down both accounts. Recently I got my first smartphone: a gift. The easiest way to play some cell phone games is to create a Facebook account and recruit friends to help with various aspects of the game. So I made a "junk" Facebook account. I kept all my details private. I almost never visit the actual page. Today I did and this is what greeted me.
Oh, I really wanted to type a zero. I really, really did. But I've grown too tired of fighting. I have several chronic illnesses that sap my energy. I've already spent many years on forums and in real life trying to fight the good fight, but I'm spent. I just can't do it anymore.
If you'd like to, you youngsters can go to the page and type a zero. I didn't want to fight...or lose my gaming friends. Who would light the torches on my "My Singing Monsters islands"? XD Before you judge me for using the masses, I light their torches, too, whether they're religious or non-religious. I'm a torch-lighting machine. :) I've even given up on convincing Christians they're wrong.
So, a "junk" Facebook account is the only Facebook account for me. Handy for evading those Christian leeches and the atheist hordes with whom I share nothing. Soothing for the constant stress of chronic pain and emotional exhaustion. I used to love the Internet and build / fix computers for cash. Now I have fantasies of going off the grid. The Internet has become stressful. The best part of the Internet was being anonymous and social media has destroyed it.
I understand your frustration. You liken the religious as being leeches, and you are correct. I think of what they do as being like parasites and roaches, ever pervading.
But I would also say to you not to give up on the internet or social networks. We're human, and we crave and need interaction with others. If that means having only an extremely small circle of friends or just one social internet site that is manageable within your physical and mental stress boundaries, then so be it. You're better off giving up the excess baggage so you can instead focus on a smaller quantity of chosen content that provides a more positive and richer experience.
Yes, atheists can be a contentious bunch. I sincerely hope, though, that hasn't been the bulk of your experience here on Atheist|Nexus.
atheists can be a contentious bunch.
This is a good, healthy thing, so far as it's true.
One hardcore Christian apologist told me he thought atheists had a "herd mentality". I told him there is lots (and lots) of disagreement among atheists, and that the "herd mentality" perception is the perception of an outsider - likely referring in his case, mostly to the fact that atheists agree that he's wrong!
I do think there's some truth in his accusation, and it's up to us to not give into our natural human inclination to groupthink.
There's "contentious" and then there's "needlessly contentious". Some people go out of their way to create arguments. I prefer to surround myself with people who don't do this.
That's just a subjective assessment. Maybe there's a point you don't want to see.
This is the last time I am going to respond to you in any way.
In a private message, we talked about this very issue. I asked you to leave me alone and let the matter end. Yet here you are, publicly confronting me on the same matter, which is trivial and unworthy of debate. Why you are hanging onto it like a pitbull with a bone is beyond my understanding. This bizarre "debate" should have stayed private and it should have ended as I requested.
What you have done in this and other threads borders on harassment. Even if I wanted to engage in such a discussion, I would not include you because you have proven to be untrustworthy. Who knows what kind of hell you would put me through if you actually knew anything important about me? I am not going to find out the answer to that question. :)
I will ask you one more time: Leave me alone. I don't want to waste energy on discussing anything with you. You are, of course, free to continue your abominable behavior, but I won't be reading anything you write. You can waste your own time, but not mine.
In the meantime, thanks to Glen and booklover for being voices of reason. Luckily, most of the people on this site seem to be decent people. I'm going to try to be decent, too. This ends here, at least for me.
A in F, I have for decades (gee, 42 years) been a political activist.
I've met people I wouldn't trust as far as I could throw an Egyptian pyramid.
I've met people as fine as any I can imagine.
I do accept -- FULLY -- that my distant ancestors were pond scum.
Not just any pond scum, but pond scum that ate smaller, weaker pond scum.
Try some politics.
Something similar to this was reported on Facebook. There is an image and you need to click on it or give a thumbs up if you believe the devil has been defeated and Jesus rules forever more.
WTF? Do we not still have all the bad things in the world with bad disease and children dying daily? Death, poverty, and starvation are everywhere and injustice is the rule of the day. How is it then that anyone would think Jesus defeated anything? Apparently these people do not live in the same world that I do. I'm on Facebook sometimes using my daughter's avatar just checking it out, but I see no reason to be on there myself. They need to grow up.
I can't remeber who said this, and I am probably paraphrasing but i think the following is very true;
"Facebook is for people you know who you wish you didnt, Twitter is for people you don't know and wish you did"
I only use my FB to keep in touch with family i dont see often, due to distance, or them being very boring.
I do love twitter however. I follow some amazing people and discuss poilitcs, religion and beer. There is always something interesting happening.
Btw I'd be keen to interact with more AN people oin twitter. Look me up as @Hashtag_Heretic.
Facebook is definitely full of people I wish I didn't know! That is such an awesome quote. XD
Like Facebook, FundyLand is full of people I wish I didn't know. It's a small community and I have zero anonymity. Everywhere I go I meet someone I knew from "way back when." Most of those people are associated with a church or the Christian school I attended. This community is so small I'm amazed if I don't run into someone from "way back when."
In the chat room I met a guy (David) who lives an hour west of here in an actual factual city. Nothing in my area could be mistaken for a city. Up until high school, we had one stop light and one fast food place. There was a burst of development at that time, but all we got was the standard American drek of crappy shopping outlets. By their very presence, they diminished the quaint little shops downtown and drove a number of them out of business. Despite (because of?) the increase in the number of retail outlets, there isn't much here in the way of culture. And because the town is so small, any "culture" that does exist is bound to be populated by people I wish I didn't know. XD
David said his actual factual city was culturally similar to the Midwest, complete with rodeos and other cow-town influences. He's right. FundyLand is similar, but with far fewer people. He says his city contains more than its fair share of religious nuts. He's right about that, too. David made it clear he doesn't like living there and I don't blame him. Even though his actual factual city has more people and therefore a better chance of meeting like-minded people, it's still a cultural wasteland full of religious nuts. If it weren't for our religious nuts, FundyLand would be a far superior place to live. It's quite lovely here. If it weren't for the emotional baggage, the lack of culture and poor economic prospects, I would live here indefinitely with no regrets. As it is now? Not so much.
People who haven't lived in California have no clue how diverse it is. It's not a "blue state" full of liberals, palm trees and sunshine. It's more like a crazy quilt. We have a beautiful coast line with varying topography, a gorgeous desert, a fertile (but boring) valley, a large mountain range in the east where the snowpack can reach depths of more than 35 feet. Death Valley is the hottest place on Earth and very dry. In the north we have temperate rainforests. The cultures in these places are equally varied. On the coast you tend to find liberal, non-religious people from various ethnicities. In the Sierra Nevadas and their foothills, you tend to find right-wing WASPs.
If I had a fat wad of cash, I think I'd disappear to a less WASP-ish place on the coast and start all over again. My cousin recently did this and she's happier than she's ever been. I wish I could do the same. Lately I've begun to question my 2008 decision to make amends with family and live with them as best I could. Pretending I'm someone I'm not has taken a horrible toll.
Maybe it's partly a matter of particular people you grew up with, not the place in general so much. Maybe you can find people there who aren't overly religious and develop connections with them.
Luaru, can you be any more insulting? Atheist in FundyLand has lived there her entire life. She says it is sparsely populated. She KNOWS the place and the people. Stop demeaning her. Take her at her word.