Finding the line in 2022 is a challenge. How much involvement with a friend is enough? FaceTime, face to face, texting, email, social media, tik tok. All of these are channels for connecting and communication and yet our society seems more disconnected than ever.
I honestly don’t know how much time to give or expect anymore. Assumicide runs rampant ate every level and the consequences of mistakes are visceral. Was I supposed to know that? Was I supposed to ask about that? Do I call too much? How do you know?
Shared lives are connected by social lines. Those lines connect and divide, often based on assumptions, context, culture, and history. To answer who my friends are forces me to prioritize. Friends DO have expectations of one another. That is how the world works.
Applying this logic to family get much more intense. Stakes are higher. In theory the grace should be more abundant and forgiveness easier. This is rarely true when the assumicide weapons of digital communication are deployed.
the 2022 social lines are drawn. The courage to cross them and love and expect and be accountable for consequences of choices is rare. I aspire to be so much better at all of this. Cest la vie.
I lost connection to to many friends and families during the Covid panic. The prevailing logic was to just use social media to stay “aware” but this proved to be false and even worse than no connection at all. In reality, the incessant whining and searching for relevance and popularity empowered the FBs to control my life and actually divided and disconnected us all even further. The Rules of appropriate and respectful caring connection communication are non existent or at a minimum severely perverted in the digital realm.
The only solution is live face to face contact. To talk, to sing, to eat, and to celebrate together we MUST be together. Even calling and messaging cannot and will not substitute for physical time. This reality is subject to the overly committed personal calendars which each of us freely build. It seems that our “social” society, at least mine, has decided that other priorities are more important. This is lunacy.
My solution is to set aside time and let my crew choose. I model a spirit and practice of hospitality. I seek to build in the expectation that they are welcome, as a regular ritual. We work together, we talk, we eat and sing and try hard to avoid any and all judgement. The time makes this real.
Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. At the core all I can control is my own behavior and choices and I respect others’ above all. My friends and family must choose to be social, real and present. This exposes us to emotions and failures for sure, but it opens us to celebrations and life together.
What is the alternative to this time committed and connected? Disconnected delusions of connection where the illusion of caring substitute for authenticity is a recipe for full scale cultural chaos. It cannot be mandated. It cannot be dictated.
How does the priority work out for this time thing?. It goes like this.
The sabbath is and was set aside to remind each of us to stay connected. We used to do this by going to church. In the world today, we have come to understand that we ARE the church. The social Sunday sabbath provides the very essence and foundation for success in every facet of life, if priorities are in order.
Start somewhere. Will you, can you, do you choose to make time together a priority. Choose wisely. Your future and your family’s future depends on it.
“So let’s do it— full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:22-25
We are the church.
We choose to connect.
We choose relationship.
We choose what worshiping means and how it is done.
The framework and timing is in the book.
The choice remains. What will you choose? Who will you choose? How will you choose?
Top 5 reasons to DUMP social media
I’ve had more than a few insightful moments since I flew the coop and left social media behind. It is really interesting to consider how blinded I was up until the last month.
I have tried to limit and even pause social media’s influence on my time and life at least three separate times in the past 5 years. I knew my time and attention was unproductive . My emotional state after spending time “there” was unhealthy and yet each time I went back because I didn’t want to lose touch with friends around the world. That was a fallacy.
I am not really connected to these people that I care about when I use FB or any of the “others”. The posting actually distances me from them in most of not all cases. I write and share and the medium censors me, colors my comments, infects them with unsaid insinuations, and even hijacks my messaging altogether. All the while, the social experiment company is monetizing my addiction to being connected. This is NOT okay.
I write and speak quite often about examples and personal liberty to speak and act with agency and authority and all of its associated responsibility. I am hitting the reset button.
I actually shut my social media service down. Connections are certainly still available and highly valued but I have left Facebook, and Twitter, and Instagram… their toxic brew of emotional judgment and half truth condemnations is gone from my life. I have left some of you. I may have disappeared. If you care enough to prioritize, you will seek me out via this site. My writing, concerts, videos, and the ability to find me is pretty simple. Use Vatenor@me.com if you don’t know my normal personal contact info.
I do want to stay connected with many of you from my past, both physical and digital. The digital landscape has evolved. I’m a 1x1 or 1 to few kind of a guy these days. This is the way. I have spoken.
Lots of friends seem to be little confused. Here is what I mean when I say it.
1. Joe Biden is a bumbling failure as POTUS. We should Elect Republicans Everywhere.
2. No more lockdowns, EVER. No more mandatory masks, EVER. I won't be giving up ANY guns.
3. The liberal media is utterly corrupt and useless. The constant defense of the #idiotsincharge by altering the “news” is toxic. Doublespeak is real.
4. Biden policies are destroying more lives than the Republicans would have if they were in power. I am very bitter that the moochers in DC are in control of my livelihood. I'm already working to change that.
5. Government needs to stay the hell out of my life.
6. Covid pandemic is OVER. My respect for the federal government is at an all time low… and that is saying something because it was pretty low before all of this mess.
7. The current meltdown in Va schools is a tragedy. I blame BOTH Biden and Lord Northam of the blackface clan.
8. The constitution restrains the government, not the citizenry. In particular, the federal government is limited by design, and needs to be whack smacked down to size.
9. I would run for office and do a better job than these corruptoCrats but I can’t get elected because I’m honest and write things like this.
10. Big government is the problem, not the solution. Period.
What will you do when they (cancel culture victimization culture, blame game types) come for your family, your friend, your neighbor?
When “they” attack the character of a person you know... when their livelihood is threatened….
Will you stand with your friend, family, neighbor supporting their God given right to disagree, even with you? That is a damn good question and test my friends.
If I don’t trust and rely on you, then distance and boundaries are increased. Separation can and will occur and it could be permanent. #musingtime
There are plenty of people that i consider to be friends who are not.
There are plenty of people that I consider to be enemies who are not.
Family is not a blood thing but blood helps.
Most people don’t really care at all. Period. Most are self focused and self involved above all else.
Social media is a semi public, artificially created, construct of community. It is not community and it is a fleeting reflection of what authentic living together encompasses. #WakeUpAmerica
Social media is a pandemic public health crisis which is actually undermining society. No different than drugs, alcohol, big tobacco, gambling… it is an addiction that requires treatment and detox.
Cases counts and variant fear are useless at this point. We all get sick regularly and we all have immune systems. Responsibility for our health is individual period. Death is a reality that we all will face. There is no mask for this. We all die. I am shocked at how few are willing to live these insane days. Get your vaccine and stay home if you are at risk.
Ignore the fear agenda from the media and political science fanatics.
Following a science and real analytical model over the naive emotional, and manipulative anecdotal narrative approach is required. Protect yourself and we will all prosper. Period.
The metrics to be concerned about are hospitalization (if there are capacity concerns) and death (if above the normative causes). These SHOULD define the state of emergency. Remember #flattenthecurve. Even the #idiotsincharge knew this originally but they have now become drunk on their control power and the politics of policy which has new teeth due to the medical authority fear mongering.
Get vaccinated if you and your doctor agree. Wear a mask if you choose. REJECT mandates and medical authoritarianism. The liberal communists are in charge of the papers and major media and most of govt. they don’t control everything yet. Time to stand up is now. Act like you Live in the land of the free and the home of the brave or soon you won’t.
What you see on FB is an illusion. If you don't understand this, try harder. Pivot online friends to face to face relationships. Maintain connections with real world friends online. Dance the dance. This is a skill which is necessary for 21st century. Seriously. #DifferentWorlds have #DifferentRules
Best thing I’ve heard from a pulpit in a while. I’ve added my take of course...
2019- year the media and “culture” said to cancel the negative people. Don’t do anything with them. Those realists are just negative Nellies. Everything will be fine as soon as the negative voices are gone.
2020- the year where we were all encouraged to shout down the positive hopeful people because the world was ending and system is deplorable. Their support for standing up and singing loud and proud is a radical position. Hunker down and look out for yourself above all. Socializing is unsafe. If you want to see and be with people you are killing them. Be fearful.
2021- this year we are not supposed to ANYTHING with ANYONE because... there is just too much risk. Be alone. Wait for permission. Someday when it is safe the powers in the know will tell you.
I never bought into any of it. I’m sorry for the months in 2020 where I was so flipping afraid. It will not happen again from me. Be. Love. Serve. Repeat. Is not a passive sit back and watch thing done on a video stream or TV. Living is loving and loving is living. Face to face. Hand to hand. Heart to heart.
Originally posted on FB in Feb 2017.
Results of 2020 elections provide this point.
FB activism is NOT useless.
I read thoughts and ideas from all sides. I am an adult and I ignore most of them. You can too. Recognize what your filters are and use them. Love others because of their diversity and uniqueness. Let go of the ego and accept your place in time. Tomorrow it will be different.
People are equal in value. Ideas are not.
The hysterical temper tantrum, personal attack rhetoric witnessed within the echo chamber friend circles of late is extremely effective. It diminishes respect for the presenters and contributes to the division. It isn't useless. It is destructive in unskilled hands like so many powerful tools. Recognize the power.
Choose to listen. Choose to ignore or to accept and learn. Vote and lead by example.
Faith in God trumps fear, Including fear of viruses and fear of big governments. Fear easily focuses ME exactly on what I view as the ultimate authority AND power in my life at the moment. I choose to use faith as my lens instead, now and into the future. If I remain afraid, I’m not rooted in faith and I’ve chosen poorly. Honestly.
Defining disinformation and misinformation is a serious gap in 2021 Where is the fact checking, no context warning, cancel culture hysteria when the right is targeted?
Texting, emails, calling and FaceTime are not enough to grow relationships. These new channels for comm may not even be enough for sustaining relationships. Hard times and good times together are required. Tears and Laughter are the life blood of true community. Communication is not community. Community is required to grow and sustain. This is how we are made.
2021 mass views. If you are conservative, then the views of the few(extremists) apply to you and you should repent because all of you are destroying society even if you have done no violence and have in fact condemned extremism at every opportunity. The actions of a few are used to condemn the many.
If you are liberal, then the views of the few(violent extremists) do NOT apply to the larger group at all. The left is a mostly peaceful protest model of civil service which is allowed by the benevolent overseers of information. The actions of the few are ignored because the powers that be benefit from the violence in thought and deed.
Riots are indeed the language of the unheard but no one is listening to half the country as the pendulum of power swings between the epic two towers like a scene the Lord of the rings.
Obviously... Of course... everyone agrees... it’s common sense/common knowledge - All Based on character assumptions. Using those terms is a clearer pathway to judgement and condemnation than influence and reason.
Always and never contribute to escalation not resolution.
Friday thinking on FutureOfUS
In a free country, the individual gets to decide. Decisions must be made based on logic, reasoned analysis, input from credible experts, along with an element of faith in one's own judgement and experience.
If the leaders are making all of the decisions, you are not free. When a lot of people agree on something, THAT is when free men should tread with caution. One size never fits all. If everyone agrees, it is likely that something is awry.
All good equations require balance. Success requires balance. Life requires RISK, period.
Rigging, manipulation, and influence are not the same thing as a global illegal conspiracy. It seems to me that we the people have bowed in fear and outsourced our intellectual and physical freedom. It is indeed time to circle up and plan legal protests with local civil disobedience coupled with disciplined planning for the next elections. The media and big tech will NOT play fair. 72 million Americans is a strong start. We, conservatives, must align and look to the future.
I’m disappointed that my fellow Americans have embraced this systemic threat to individualism and liberty in favor of corporate communism back by force and fire of government. Cest la vie. When these policies fail in coming years, I and many like me will be far less tolerant, likely less civil, and follow the protest playbook we have seen as a roadmap. Times ahead could be pretty vicious. It seems we are at war for the souls of our states and thus our republic.
Biden’s DARK WINTER is indeed coming and will extend well into 2021 and beyond. Consequences will be far reaching beyond just surviving Covid. We have >99.8% chance of surviving that threat. The societal threats could be far more deadly as families churches and businesses are literally blown up. The blame game is done. We must look to the future. Let’s roll.
FB psychosis creates and encourages some really bad behaviors online. I believe that I've come up with a solid formula to keep it healthier. I actively filter my FB "friends" and it has helped tremendously.
Here are three questions that set the bar/filter.
1. Do I ACTUALLY know you? If I see you in grocery store, do I know you well enough to speak to you and say hello?
2. Do I want to talk to you and hear what you have to say? respect, civility, tone... all matter.
3. Do we have an ongoing context for relationship? other friends, politics, church, music...
The reality is that FB is NOT an effective public publishing forum, but it can be effective, to a point, at connecting me with other people. I can't prove that as I don't really know how to quantify success, but it is my hypothesis. I know that I want to remain connected to my FBfriends and that in most cases, I desire for those FBfriend relationships to progress into deeper personal friendships. It rarely happens, but it has happened.. and it is possible.
The list is constantly changing. New friends enter, old friends exit. The filtering is essential to keeping friends relevant and fresh and to ensure that the most valuable relationships get priority.
What the media thinks is largely irrelevant. Their opinion is not on par with that of elected officials. Their job should not be to characterize ACTUAL leaders. It should be to report on policies and outcomes along with substantive investigative candor. The stories cannot be one sides. That makes them even more irrelevant. Ultimately the modern media has relegated themselves to entertainment status. They seem to think that they are writing the script for a reality tv show. That is not how it works.
The presidential elections cycle has hit its final window of emotional insanity. If you believe that real world relationships are more important than elections, then now is the time to USE THE SNOOZE. Your friends and family are entitled to different views. They may even have radically different views. Your relationship with them is far more important than an election, and the only solution is to work together for a brighter future. Being right is not enough. Don't allow policy disagreements and governing decisions to permanently break the ties that bind. Social media monetization is built around getting US to engage and often fighting is the most profitable method. You can be part of the solution. Read, scroll on.. and when you decide.. USE THE SNOOZE. This is the way to circle back to smiles and fellowship.
"Tebow extended peace and BLM extends judgment and division, not unity. Black lives matter. Free speech matters. Prayer matters. Sports and entertainment matter. But at the end of the day, at the end of life, I believe it is one’s faith that truly matters." brilliant and elegant analysis. -- From Julie Boltz..
Today's NFL and pretty much all of the sports "protests" are driving people apart.. not bringing them together. Why.. because there is no faith at the center.
Intersection of principles and practices...