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moloko5

Dealing With Religious Family Members On Facebook

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After a recent, albeit brief, interaction on Facebook I'm curious how other people deal with their religious family members online.

 

I generally avoid discussing religion with my family and certainly keep my views to myself when around them.  They often attempt to engage me in conversations about it, but I generally beg off, change the subject or simply ignore their comments.  This is after many years of negative interactions that went absolutely nowhere.  They won't change, and I'm secure in my worldview, so if it only leads to anger, accusations and so on, what's the point of trying to communicate about it?  I've found, at least from my perspective, this has been the best way to have a relationship with them.

 

So recently when I was moved by an article Roger Ebert had written about accepting death and the unlikelihood of an afterlife, I posted a link to it on Facebook with a few brief comments about how much I had admired his bravery and honesty in that article.  A number of my friends responded positively.  However, I hadn't even thought about the fact that my religious family members might see it.  One did and responded by writing something like "What if he's wrong?!  Jesus lives!!!"  I went ahead and deleted it, because knowing some of my friends, I didn't want to have an argument break out on my wall.  It did make me think that perhaps I should change my settings on Facebook so that only some people can access my wall.  The things is that much of the content I post wouldn't be offensive, so I'm not so sure that this is the best approach either.  Maybe I'll go ahead and just remove contect like that from my wall and let the chips fall where they may as far as who sees what.

 

Anyway, it just got me thinking that a lot of other ex-Christians probably deal with Facebook and religious family members.  How do you organize that situation?

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I haven't really run into any issues with religious family members. But I usually try to avoid posting anything that set off alarms (everyone doesn't know yet), and save my "blasphemy" for Twitter/Google Plus:).

 

To be honest I'm a little torn over what you should do. One part of me thinks that if you think it will be an ongoing issue, then go ahead and change your settings. But on other hand, why should you have to agonize over posting stuff when I'm sure (of course I'm assuming) your religious family members don't think twice about posting something Christian-related on their pages?

 

In the end, you know your family and what you can put up with when it comes to them. Do what feels best for you.

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With people on your friend's list who you know are religious and who you'd rather not see such posts, you can just go from your homepage to 'lists' and make a list of your religious friends/family and whenever you post something which you'd rather they not see, just select 'custom' and make it so friends will see your post but add the name of the list under where it says who you want to hide this post from.  

 

 

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I may need to do this asap. 

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I just make it so I can't see their posts.  If they send a message, fine, but they haven't. 

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After a recent, albeit brief, interaction on Facebook I'm curious how other people deal with their religious family members online.

 

I generally avoid discussing religion with my family and certainly keep my views to myself when around them.  They often attempt to engage me in conversations about it, but I generally beg off, change the subject or simply ignore their comments.  This is after many years of negative interactions that went absolutely nowhere.  They won't change, and I'm secure in my worldview, so if it only leads to anger, accusations and so on, what's the point of trying to communicate about it?  I've found, at least from my perspective, this has been the best way to have a relationship with them.

 

So recently when I was moved by an article Roger Ebert had written about accepting death and the unlikelihood of an afterlife, I posted a link to it on Facebook with a few brief comments about how much I had admired his bravery and honesty in that article.  A number of my friends responded positively.  However, I hadn't even thought about the fact that my religious family members might see it.  One did and responded by writing something like "What if he's wrong?!  Jesus lives!!!"  I went ahead and deleted it, because knowing some of my friends, I didn't want to have an argument break out on my wall.  It did make me think that perhaps I should change my settings on Facebook so that only some people can access my wall.  The things is that much of the content I post wouldn't be offensive, so I'm not so sure that this is the best approach either.  Maybe I'll go ahead and just remove contect like that from my wall and let the chips fall where they may as far as who sees what.

 

Anyway, it just got me thinking that a lot of other ex-Christians probably deal with Facebook and religious family members.  How do you organize that situation?

I guess im lucky that my grandparents where more atheist (in private) then christian.

For those in my family that are christian, they dont give a rats ass about my religion. I guess that's because of there parents (my grandparents).

 

I can only give bad advice zDuivel7.gif like, join a bunch of satanic groups and post that you become a satanist, that will soo freak them out GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif

 

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the only problem i have is with my sister, who always posts christian memes etc, which i just respond to sarcastically which riles her up and it's great fun! Thankfully my parents aren't on facebook cos that would be a different story. 

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I actually created a second, uberprivate account so I could post whatever I wanted and interact freely with friends without having to worry about my family spying on me. (A thing which has happened.) That's become my "real" account, and I'm very selective about the friends I add. When I log into my original account--rare enough--my settings prevent my family from seeing all but my public information. (That's not a perfect fix for me, because there are occasions where I might want a post to be visible to family but not friends, who would probably leave damning comments full of profanity and fun that would cause trouble with my parents later; therefore, second account.)

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I unfriended my cousin's wife because the majority of her posts were mostly "Good morning Jesus" and other such nonsense.

 

This is the failing of FB in my opinion. I want a teather to people I know and a solid connection to those I care about a lot but I don't want everyone to see everything and I don't want to see everyone's blather.

 

I'd love to have two boards. Primo and Bozo. ;-)

My neice who is often mentioning church and my cousins wife could be on the bozo level and would only see what I post when I click the bozo list.

 

All of this is why I don't visit FB much anymore.

 

Mongo

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Ignore them.

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I don't preach atheism in real life so I don't do it on Facebook because I don't like it when others preach their religious views to me. After a couple of Facebook offenses, I block them. I will "block" them in real life as well, should they do it in person, but generally they seem to prefer Facebook as their pulpit.

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I definitely advocate setting up groups for when you don't want to share a post with everyone. One suggestion I heard was to not make, say, a family group and set a particular post to "don't share this with family" in case you've recently friended such a person and have forgotten to add them to that group. So instead, I have a few groups of "safe" people and will share certain posts only with that group. No one gets to see those posts until I specifically add them.

 

As for the people you sorta wanna keep in touch with but not really, I think there's a way to "ignore" their posts so you won't see what they have to say unless you go looking for it, without unfriending them.

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I agree with Florduh.   I don't preach it in real life so I am careful to not post on Facebook and I don't like it when others push their "religion" on Facebook. I have blocked or even unfriended folks that do almost nothing but post religion.

 

Here is what I have decided to do however:   I do have many "Likes" in books, movies and people.   That way if they want to take the initiative and find out what I am into they can, but I am not forcing them to do so by putting it on my wall.   I hold nothing back in the "Likes" area however, it is all there from Dawkins to Religulous.

So far I have only had one Christian friend comment in a respectful way that they noticed I like Dawkins and sent me a link with scientific evidence for gawd.   wow!!   I don't even answer these anymore.

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Very hard online or offline. I feel a twinge every time. I don't want to force them to not believe, but they want me TO believe. <SCRATCH HEAD>

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