I’m not an internetty person. I left Facebook. I don’t tweet. Before this year I was only following two blogs, one of which was my mum’s. I worry too much about etiquette; when I first joined Facebook, I absolutely freaked out when an acquaintance from high school ‘hugged’ me. I called my brother: “Am I supposed to hug her back even though I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that in real life?”
Now there’s a whole world of blog etiquette to get my head around. Am I allowed to read about other peoples’ lives without letting them know I’m doing it? It feels a little like eavesdropping. So should I comment and let them know I’m listening in? But what do they care what I think when they have no idea who I am? These questions don’t keep me awake at night, but they niggle occasionally.
I recently crawled out of my safe, eavesdroppy shell to comment on a blog post; it was my first comment ever on a non-family member’s blog and the stress of it almost killed me (I’m a nervous person, okay?!), but the discussion had provoked me enough to take the risk. The post (which is here, from Ben’s blog) was about the ‘Jesus: A Prophet of Islam’ billboards, which sparked a discussion in the comments, and then between me and my husband, and later that week between a few of the members of our Bible study.
It really surprised me that so many Christians responded with a pro-free-speech attitude rather than outrageous offense (my first reaction), and I’m still not sure I completely disagree with the billboard being vandalised (can’t vandals express their views freely too?). I can’t imagine the God of the Bible responding to people telling lies about Him with, “Whatevs, people are entitled to their own opinion. Hurrah for free speech!” - I’m pretty sure He’d smite them. However, I do concede that there are more mature and respectful ways of handling offensive billboards than to tear them down, and I was overjoyed to see that one group of Christians has found one of them: http://aussiechristians.com.au/
P.S. This is the post that made me start reading Ben’s blog – it cracked me up.
P.P.S. The top photo is by Dean Sewell. The bottom is unattributed on the Aussie Christians website.