Those Internet Hoaxes

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As we rely more on the internet for our information, I think its imperative to be questioning about what we see. A few weeks ago the old Facebook hoax popped up again. My newsfeed was filled with declarations of what and how the site could use their content.

The first thing that occurred to me is this, we have already agreed to terms of service to use it. If these terms had truly changed then we as participants would be sent notice of these changes and would have to agree to them.

The second thing was by declaring such things on your personal page does not negate the previously agreed upon terms of service. Which we all agreed to whether or not we actually read them.

I have been taken by a hoax on social media which is why these type of things are such a pet peeve of mine. We see it shared and repeated enough on our timelines that we believe it to be true.

Whether its a click bait article containing half a story or people thinking it is National whatever day, it’s important to verify information. Especially as the internet as a whole becomes our main source for news.

I grew up in a house where my family not only read the local newspaper, but also subscribed to the Sunday edition of the New York Times. We also watched the nightly news broadcast, discussing the stories during the commercial breaks. This taught me to seek out more than one source for my news.

We must be vigilant in this today. It is easy to Google and verify a story. I like to check out Snopes.com, MiamiHerald.com and NPR. When a story is true the same facts will be present. Dispelling myths and rumors.

This most recent hoax was relatively harmless but it should be alarming to us. In that this was not a new hoax, how quickly will this one be forgotten and our news feeds filled with similar declarations?

Or what if we aide in spreading dangerous misinformation? Once something is believed to be true, it is difficult to convince that it is not. Consider this as we begin the long road for the Presidency. It does not take but a few moments to verify information.

What Matters Most

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Last year I dove into the world of online dating. In a few months I then dove out.  Downloaded on my phone were several dating apps. Apps that began to become the focus my days. It was just too easy to open them and peruse.

Several things dawned on me, first of which is that everyone is being judged. I was guilty of this, swiping left simply because of a bad photo or that the person just was not physically attractive to me. I am sure the same was done to me.

Second, no one really wants to have a conversation. I grew frustrated after taking the time to construct a thoughtful, hopefully witty message. In return, getting no response. The whole thing began to feel wrong for me.

I am nearly thirty six and have never been in a relationship. Dates, yes but not a relationship. The lack of response translated into rejection. Which became draining for me. All those apps were soon deleted.

I had to take a step back and think about what I really believed about potential marriage. As in what it could do for me. Then I attended a marriage workshop that my church held.

It was good for me. It helped me gain a better perspective on my singleness. How I needed to let go of the idea that marriage is created simply for me. For me to be happy or that being married would make me happy.

The reality is, marriage, just as anything else in this Christian life, is there to prepare me to meet Christ. Realizing this, a lightbulb went off in my heart. Regardless if I marry or if I do not, it is all about Jesus. My life is not less worthy to Christ because I am single.

Which has freed me from the anxiety and worry that I have carried for much of my life. Letting go of the judgment that I have placed on myself for being single. Putting myself down as a loser. I believed for so long that my validation belonged in someone else loving me.

Being loved does matter but my salvation is found in Christ and not another person. I still hope for marriage but it may be more of an “if instead of when “question in my life. I have a better perspective on what marriage can possibly be in my life.

Can this be called contentment? Perhaps. I hesitate to call it that though. I call it an in between state. Between feeling content and longing for more. I find it to be the place I need to be right now. The tension where we are all called to live as followers of Christ.

Single or married, what matters most who I am in Christ.