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I am Eric’s Wife. I am also mother to two teenagers on the very cusp of adulthood, the founding director of Scripture from the Heart, an avid world watcher, bold and insecure at once. I serve a merciful God and I love a guy who makes my knees weak. This is where I write about it all.  Thank you for reading!

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Do You Kiss Your Grandma with that Mouth?

June 24, 2020

(Yes, another post about social media. It is a very useful servant, but a terrible master. It crept in on me like a fog and I am trying to have a reckoning.)

My Mom had a large record collection of pop culture type stuff that she brought into her marriage to my Dad. From her records we heard the Jackson 5, the Carpenters, John Denver, Mamas and the Papas, and, to her chagrin, Cheech and Chong.

One of the albums that I never listened to was Bill Cosby’s 8:15 12:15. It was a set of two records, each containing full Cosby stand up routines. I was growing up in the era of the Cosby Show and knew him only as America’s Dad. I knew that the 8:15 record was family friendly and that the 12:15 record was for an adult audience. Somehow it gave me great pause to know that he would ever say something not meant for my ears. It made a crack in my opinion of him at a very early age, even as I couldn’t communicate why.

Returning to Facebook recently to promote some upcoming events has brought back that same sense about people I know as I got reading the cover of that Bill Cosby collection.

Social media shows me a lot of people’s 12:15 material that is not meant for my ears. I only know their 8:15 show self that I see in church or at social gatherings that we used to have in the olden days. Without social media, I might only ever know their 8:15 self; it’s a self where I may disagree on certain matters, but in person it is discussed rationally and left alone. With social media, I am still aware of the areas where we disagree, but the language changes dramatically. They cast a wide net that catches me and a whole crowd of varied minds, “People like you make me sick. Unfriend me if you can’t handle the truth I’m spittin.” Then, to my face, they say to me, “I love you. I respect you.”

As I consider my place on the internet, I know that it is impossible to not offend someone somewhere. Most comedy is an effort to highlight the absurd and there’s always going to be a toe stepped on. Believe me. I know things. I once made a FB post about oatmeal that turned into a legendary 175 comment thread with raging passion about rolled oats verses steel. Also, there was my postage stamp post that garnered 125 comments that roared about government verses private business.

At the very well known risk of offending someone, I want to say that we should all be nicer on the internet. Nobody who knows you in the flesh, disagrees with your politics, and follows you on social media grows fonder of you by the day if all you share is fear and anger. Social media is not real life. There are people in your real life that have to hug you in the flesh on Sunday morning, even though they know you would hate them if you knew how they voted. Perhaps we could all take a pause and consider the people in front of us. I intend to take many more deliberate pauses from social media. I rather prefer it when there’s not a 12:15 elephant standing in the middle of the room.

One response to “Do You Kiss Your Grandma with that Mouth?”

  1. Jessica Dennington says:

    You seem to hit truth threads most of the time, and I am thankful for it.

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