“Let minor differences and personal preferences, if there be such, go to the winds.” Abraham Lincoln  1

When Jim and I were young parents, we were advised to choose our battles wisely. In other words, don’t make a big deal out of something that isn’t a big deal. There will be REALLY big deals to tackle later. That was (and is) good advice.

Similarly, a pastor friend of mine once urged his congregation (in the midst of a building project) to not allow the color of carpeting to become a hill to die on. There would be other things of more importance later; same concept. It’s no big deal.

It’s all about priorities – actually, misplaced priorities.

Some may see Lincoln’s quote as an example of his relaxed style of leadership. Evidently, Honest Abe wasn’t a micro-manager. He didn’t have to wholeheartedly agree with everything that was said or written by others. Neither do I.

The same concept was echoed in another way in the movie “Frozen.” Let it go!

Seems easy – right? But, it’s not. At least not without intentionality! So much in life requires intentionality.

Social media offers a prime example of how we can be sucked into what’s not our business. It’s too easy to click and comment. I’ve responded unnecessarily, but I am trying to be more intentional. I sometimes click, type a response, then choose to delete that response instead of posting it. I don’t need to be in the middle of every imaginable online discussion. I don’t need to be heard.

I try to refrain from posting (or sharing) controversial things, too. Oh, I have made that mistake a time or two, and I’ve been stung a time or two by those more articulate than I. It’s okay. I usually back down (and delete my post or my comment). It’s not that I don’t have valid opinions – I certainly do – but I prefer not to battle publicly on social media.

Others seem to thrive on such keyboard battles. Not I. But, it can be both entertaining and humorous to follow as people show more ignorance than wisdom (unless it incites me to anger). It’s better to just walk away!

So…..I’m curious, dear readers! I can’t be the only one who’s given thought to what’s become an everyday occurrence. What are your thoughts?

How have online discussions (or arguments) affected you, personally?

Are you pulled in by them?

Do you feel the need to participate – to share your two cents worth – or can you walk away?

Do you read such threads just for fun while shaking your head at the audacity of people? LOL!

And, what do you see as social media’s biggest value? Or biggest flaws?

For me, I absolutely love being able to connect with people near and far, old friends and new ones. I love seeing pictures of those I care about. I love being instantly updated when there is a crisis or an exciting adventure. I love traveling vicariously with friends to places I’ll never see. Those are my favorite things.

The biggest flaws? Well, there’s a security risk. Hackers enjoy messing with others, online. And, there are those who have to say something snarky in response to every post; they can’t quietly scroll down. Back in the day, it was called ‘talking back’ and it came with consequences. Now we talk back from our keyboards just for the fun of it, without consequences. Somehow, anonymity is perfect for people to freely broadcast their “minor differences and personal preferences” online!

I think I’ll just choose my battles and scroll past posts in which I could easily become entangled. I have better things to do with my time and energy. How about you?

(I’m serious. Please respond with your thoughts. Your experiences of becoming entangled in discussions. Times you’ve been burned by posting an unpopular opinion. Your pros and cons of social media. I appreciate you taking the time to read AND respond. Thanks.)

1 White, Ronald C.. Lincoln in Private: What His Most Personal Reflections Tell Us About Our Greatest President. United States: Random House Publishing Group, 2022.

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