#SOL18 Day 26 #Blessed?

Growing up, I didn't even know what the Internet was until the end of high school. My childhood and teenage years were all pre-Facebook and social media. In my mid-twenties, I joined Facebook and now use social media regularly. It just seems natural to post photos of my celebrations and funny things my kids say and do. 

However, I do know that Facebook posts often just showcase the shiny, clean part of one's reality. A person's life is nuanced and, as the saying goes, into every life a little rain must fall. We all have our pain and challenges, though you might not know it by scrolling through Facebook.

One hashtag really annoys me. #Blessed. It just feels so arrogant to me. As if God has selected you out of everyone to make your life pain-free and joyful. As if those who have sick children, crummy spouses, addiction, debt, diseases, and more are not in the #Blessed club. (Sucks for them!)

I'm all for gratitude. I'm all for appreciating the happy things in your life and being thankful to a Higher Power. But, when tragedy strikes, then is the Higher Power to blame if he was to thank for the #blessings? Are you no longer #blessed? 

I recently started reading Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies I've Loved by Kate Bowler, after reading a Slice from Lisa Keeler where she referenced this book. It's questioning the very idea of who is blessed and why we think that prosperity in our lives and the flip side have to do with being rewarded or punished. 

In my Facebook scroll, there are friends with country homes and beautiful children, living it up, feeling #blessed. There are friends with babies that have cancer. There are friends who never had the chance to have children. There are friends with marriages that fell apart and friends who feel lost now that a parent passed away. All of us have things to love and appreciate, but all of us have pain too. The pain often doesn't get posted.

How do you feel about #Blessed? Does it annoy you too or am I missing something? 

Comments

  1. As a Facebook avoider (for privacy reasons, which now seem more important than ever), I only know of the hashtag third-hand, through the posts of others. But I am like you -- it seems to bring some self-coronation to the writer steeped in certain religious values (that allow some in, and leave some out). Another word might be better. Gratitude, as you note, seems relevant. That said, people find value in their writing and their lives in their owns ways. Maybe for them, the hashtag has relevance to remind them of the good in their lives. Hopefully, that makes them better people towards others.
    Kevin

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  2. Totally, but I figured it was because I was old! I do not use Facebook for personal reasons - only professional - because teachers asked us to link to Facebook. I agree with Kevin that gratitude is more fitting. There are some people who post a range of things and manage to find humor in the face of adversity on FB -I do appreciate that skill when I see it. My advice -- limit your time on it - big time!!
    Clare

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  3. Amen to everything you’ve said, Kathleen. The subtext of #blessed is god willed these folks’ lives to have and willed others to have not. There’s a long tradition in this country of thinking life’s problems are grounded in merit. Sick? Must have sinned. Bad marriage? Get the sin out. Etc. It’s the preordained crap of Calvinism. And this notion of everything happens for a reason so it must be god’s will is a sibling of #blessed used to justify all kinds of evil and failure to act if social justice issues in the US.

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  4. I never really thought about it that way, but now that I do what you say makes sense (by that I mean I agree with your take on it).
    PS Thanks for changing your commenting settings! I can now comment easily and will comment more often!

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  5. I'm with you on the #blessed thing, my friend. Lucky? Yes. Fortunate? Yes. Thankful? Absolutely! But the blessed thing takes it a little far.

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  6. Kathleen, I wrote a poem on this very topic in the SOL 16. The 'I'm so blessed' let me makes cringe. The implication is 'You're not'. (Maribethbatcho)

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  7. Oh Girl. Preach. I feel like I should just stop there because I don't want to comment too much. But especially for women in Christianity, I think you nailed it. We aren't doing each other ANY favors by #blessing all our days. I have tossed books with this type of thematic writing across the room because I think it also indicates that we aren't enough if we are struggling or in a rough patch. I'll stop now, but I am 2000% with you on this one. Thanks for speaking out!

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  8. So true - we only share our best moments on Facebook - that is the best looking moments. I know I've shared photos of moments with smiling friends that werent actually fun. It's all about the optics. I don't use hashtags - not sure I'd be doing it right. I hope those people do truly feel blessed. But I guess they don't have to rub it in everyone's face. And it's also important to remember that one person's blessed won't necessarily be the same as the next.

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