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.

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I had already figured this out for myself, but damn, you freaking nailed it! I'm not wasting any more of my time on the needlessly contentious. I'm not leaving, either...at least not until I want to leave. I'll just have to ignore resident troll(s). I guess they exist everywhere.

I might hang around a bit. :)

I guess then that atheists have more in common than their regard for deities. Contentious lot by and large and also tending to reject the most invidious forms of discrimination which are identified with the hard core theists...

no, contentious and needlessly contentious is a valid distinction

Again, that is in the eye of the beholder.  And creating accusations of being "needlessly contentious" is itself a way of creating contention. 

As usual, Luara, you're right.

I'm not needlessly contentious.

When I create contention, I do so because I need some contention.

I'm hooked on my adrenaline.

Hm-mm, I think. If I had more confidence in my ability to do what I want to do, I wouldn't need my narcissism.

if ya wanna see needlessly contentious just look in the mirror


Look in the mirror yourself !  YOU are creating contention. 

AIFL is aiming this at me.  Simply because I observed that according to the statistics, it looks to me like she is living in a place that is less Fundyland than are other areas of the USA like rural Texas.  And that she may be interacting in ways that create some of that atmosphere she complains about, herself.

I don't claim, and I never claimed to know this for sure.  It's just a suggestion. 

And it's not "needless".  It's obviously very relevant, because it's relevant to a possible solution to the problem.  If one can change the way one interacts with the environment to solve a problem, that may be much easier than changing the environment. 

This concept is standard fare in recovery circles.

She has told us that she lived there her entire life. For you to adduce statistics and suggest that she may be creating some of that atmosphere is needlessly contentious. And the latter aspect is gratuitously nasty. 

That is your interpretation.  Again, whether one is creating some of the problem oneself, is relevant to a possible solution to the problem. 

This is standard fare in recovery circles.  It should be a consideration for anyone who is in an unpleasant situation.  And there's nothing wrong with bringing it up. 

It is actually a crucial consideration.  There's a phrase "doing a geographic" that comes up in recovery circles.  This is the phenomenon where the person moves to leave their problems behind them, but after they go to all that effort to move, they find they haven't actually left their problems behind them. 

AIFL told us that it's not practical for her to move.  So that makes it even more crucial to ask what can be done without moving. 

I also care about whether things are true or not.  The truth is very important, even if people react against it sometimes.  I mean whether it's really "Fundyland", or just some intermediate level of religiosity between a liberal area and the deep South. 

Wow. This is a very relate-able post. Facebook was such a fun place when I was just posting pics of my children and vacations. Granted, I have become more 'contentious' over the years, but when a Pakistani hospital is attacked and I can't get in touch with my eye surgeon, wouldn't that make any person cantankerous? 

On the other hand, I have recently met a few non-religious friends there who are not known to me in real life. All they post is angry things against religion. There is much more to me than dislike of faith, and if there is nothing else to you than atheism, I don't really care to know you. 

The format of Facebook also seems geared to people with very short attention spans who prefer to have most information disseminated in pictures. I'm still waiting for a more intelligent social network that will allow me to sort my newsfeed based on topic. 




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