So I've decided to make a switch from Facebook to Atheist Nexus. I have way more people to talk to on Facebook, but I guess I'm looking for more than just mindless banter. I guess I got a little annoyed with religious postings, citing biblical passages and and asking for prayers and stuff. And of course they got what they wanted - comforting feedback, assurance that they were in everyone's prayers, many thumbs up, the "like" button etc. But whenever I posted ANYTHING about my views (especially ones I'm passionate about and feel are important) - take creationism out of textbooks, how I thought it was horrible that in North Carolina you can't hold office if you are an atheist and so on, no one spoke. No thumbs up. No feedback. They did give me the "like" button when I said I got the housework done. Or that I just watched a good movie. This is shallow, back and forth nonsense that gets really old. I think people are too afraid of rocking the boat, or offending other people with their thoughts so they won't say anything at all. Well, okay. If you ask me to pray for you or if you tell me that you will pray for me, I take offense to that (if you knew where I stood beforehand). If you invite me to your church and you know I'm an atheist, I take offense to that as well. But that won't stop these people from preaching to me. So why should I have to keep my beliefs to myself?

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Comment by Little Name Atheist on May 14, 2010 at 10:35am
Jaume posted a link to a new social network in the works in this discussion about Facebook.
Comment by Joe Wagnon on May 14, 2010 at 10:21am
When I started with Facebook I thought I would be able to use it with my friends as a forum for discussion about thought provoking and relevant topics. Boy was I wrong. I think my religious friends have all "hid" my profile after I disagreed with their posts about how "God needs to take back this country". The rest generally avoid rocking the boat, as you suggested, and offer not much more than "I like socks", which just happens to be the kind of post that most people can feel good about.
Comment by Jennifer Anderson on May 14, 2010 at 9:59am
Thanks Everyone. Tom's right. It's good to keep fighting the good fight. You've all been very helpful! I appreciate it a lot! And it's not like I go around attacking people's faith, that's not cool. And you always have the option of just "hiding" the people who feel the need to fill your wall with "repent and see the light" posts. And if they get offended with my views then...oh well. And Erik, humor is a good tool. Thanks!
Comment by Little Name Atheist on May 14, 2010 at 9:17am
Crap. What I meant to write was: When I have time, I enjoy reading what some people on my Facebook friend list have posted, as it's generally pertinent, or thought provoking. I just don't have much time these days. Also, either on Atheist Nexus or Facebook, I'm more likely to read something that someone has written themself, rather than some article they're linking to off-site.

Erik the Red wrote: That, and trying to farm out my info to third parties by changing the rules and settings every two months gets old....

Bingo! This is why I don't have much personal information on Facebook, and change it all from time to time... including my birthday.

Sadly, the word and institution of "friend" has taken a hard hit in these times of cyber, and now seems to mean "someone who once clicked 'like' on one of my Facebook posts".

I don't find "challenging" people to be useful. It makes them defensive, and sometimes more confirmed in their whatever-it-is that other people think they should be challenged on. If I disagree with someone, I'll generally make my case. If they want to discuss the issue, I'm happy to discuss it. If they don't, I won't press on. I find humour a much better way to make a point. You catch a lot more flies with honey than with vinegar.

DangerousTalk: No one was telling Jennifer that she has to choose.
Comment by Tom Thompson on May 14, 2010 at 6:07am
Most people, whether on Facebook or not, dislike having uncomfortable world-view changing discussions. Sure, they love to tell you all the stuff that they take for granted but few of them are really open to debating any of it. So what is the point of it all?

Facebook is a great democratizer of ideas. Your voice is equal to everyone else's and can be as loud as your social connections allow it to be. You also have the opportunity to speak and respond in exactly the format that you wish and you are not impacted by most of the techniques that people use in face to face conversations to silence opposition. From this perspective it may be very important to keep fighting the good fight. It isn't easy or fun though.
Comment by Staks Rosch on May 13, 2010 at 7:17pm
I think you need more atheist friends on facebook. It is important for those people to be challenged because they probably haven't been before. So I think you are right to challenge them. With that said, I don't think you should have to choose. Atheist Nexus is great and so is facebook. There are different people on both and I think Atheist Nexus is more of a safe haven where you don't have to deal with that crap. But facebook is important too because that is where everyone goes. There are some atheist groups on facebook you might want to look into and if you have a good number of atheist friends there and I sure they will back you up and the theists will start to back down.
Comment by Little Name Atheist on May 13, 2010 at 8:43am
Jennifer, you are definitely not a party pooper. I also have a Facebook account, but I don't use it like I use Nexus. I see a lot of copy-and-paste of articles/links on Facebook, but very little original content. When I have time, I enjoy posting what people on my Facebook friend list have posted, as it's generally pertinent, or thought provoking. I just don't have much time these days.

I came to Atheist Nexus originally because I only knew of two other atheists where I live. Because of Nexus, I have met more. It seems like people use Facebook for personal promotion, as well as "keeping in touch" with friends, family, acquaintances, and e-quaintances. Nothing wrong with that. It's just that I'm interested in meeting people who share my worldview/ethics for actual general proximity interaction.

Plus, Facebook has privacy/security issues galore.

I can't tell you how many people have asked to add me to their Facebook list who have at least 1,000 friends. Darlings, I would just love to be one of the adoring throng, but there's only so much time in a day.
Comment by Martin Allen on May 13, 2010 at 12:26am
If you (ie anyone reading this) want to stay with Facebook, feel free to add me - find at martincallen@yahoo.com - and tag a message along the lines of "I would like more atheist FB friends". I'll be able to suggest you become friends with others who regularly post relevant and interesting information there.
Basically, I felt pretty much the same as you before Atheist Week on FB encouraged people to put the "A" in their profile. My atheist friend database suddenly grew. FB has become a much more enjoyable place, and I've no shortage of opportunity to find other like-minded people there through "friend suggestions" with mutual friends.
Comment by Jennifer Anderson on May 12, 2010 at 7:49pm
Great! I'm glad I'm not the only person who feels this way. I was starting to think I was a party pooper!
Comment by Dejah Thoris on May 12, 2010 at 6:52pm
I don't care much for Facebook either. I have no interest in playing the games or exchanging "hearts" or anything else like that. Signing up for it was an easy way to share photos. The reason I don't like Facebook is one of the reasons I have pretty much no friends--I can't (or won't) maintain superficial relationships. On A/N I can read and participate in meaningful discussions, which is a relief.

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