The Facebook Bouncer

James 1:22 But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

I talked about Christmas cards and not getting some of the “usuals.” What I did not talk about was the facebook bouncer I had to look into.

I received a Christmas card from someone I had completely forgotten was a “friend” on fb. I am going to be honest, it completely creeped me out. They said they liked looking at the positive posts. Since they never “like” any of them, I had no idea they were watching. Creepy.

My mind began constructing a mental image of facebook. I am an extreme coffee drinker ( I try to make half-caf whenever possible, so please judge not) so the meeting place for fb takes place in a cafe.

Mentally, I walk to the exclusive brick building with intricate cast iron detail. The trendy chalk board sign invites me in with enticing flavors listed and the aroma wafting from the building brings butterflies of anticipation. But, there is a bouncer at the door. This is an exclusive,”By invitation ONLY,” club.

“Do you have a friend request?” He barks. I scramble to find the invitation in my purse, finally producing the golden ticket. He lowers the chain and, with a transformed disposition, smiles widely and welcomes me.

I step through the gate and immediately feel like, “I have arrived!” The heavy carved wooden doors slowly swing open and I walk in. The murmur of talking, laughing, and the clinking of dishes greets me. The brick arches above remind me of an Italian winery, but the sliding steel doors separating the kitchen from the dining area feels industrial. Burlap bags and heavy metal grinding parts are anchored to the walls enticing my eyes to dance around the crowded room to take in the ambiance. The aroma of roasting coffee beans mixed with caramel, mocha, and cinnamon permeates the air, ahhh….. .

I  approach the deep heavy oak counter that appears to be straight out of an old western country store. It embraces rounded glass, showcasing sky high pie, decadent cheese cake slices, 8 in bagels, and brownies topped with whipped cream, dripping in caramel and fudge. There are smiles all around as the barista’s are busy filling a liquid description of their patrons. My turn!

“Small, blonde roast, black, steamed (extra hot), with a shot of peppermint, in a to-go cup (because those have a lid and keeps it hot longer), please.” I step a side so the couple behind me have their opportunity to define themselves in liquid flavor. The amazing thing is, this is the “FB Cafe” so in my imagination, these beverages are free for the asking, no one is forced to be here or partake.

I am served with a with smile and a,”Find a seat and enjoy yourself!”

I reflect back the smile, pick up my steamy welcoming brew, and make my way down two cut limestone stairs. Over-stuffed leather chairs with mid-height tables constructed from old singer sewing machines hug the stone wall on the right. To the left is a floating bar with with tractor seat bar stools. In the middle are area rugs with differing era’s of furniture: art deco pieces with crisp lines and controlled curves along with moderism pieces introducing aluminum and molded laminates. A high back chair with straight lines, perched in the back corner, appearing to be straight out of a Frank Lloyd Wright home, beckons me. Uncharacteristically for this design, a thick cushion is poised on the seat and I allowed myself to sink to the bottom.

At the head of the room, an open microphone was front and center. The “friends” take turns boasting/posting, or at least sharing what is going on in there lives. I sip my brew, watch and listen. After each “friend” contributes, a few clap or “like” their presentation, others receive a standing ovation, or hundreds of “likes.”

Some friends post or share more than others, but there are “friends” that remain at the back of the room, watching, not interacting. A few  more come in the door and are handing out flyers to their “clubs,” bop up to the microphone to make announcements about themselves and waive for people to “like” them, but do not take the time to define themselves at the counter, come over and greet the club owner who is walking around making sure everyone is comfortable, or pay any attention to any of their “friends” in the room. They are so focused on their own club they are missing out on the lives they have been welcomed to touch. I wipe a tear knowing they will walk out with more numbers to add to their guest list but no memories of others to be treasured.

Then there are the guests that sit next to the door on their PDFs. Maybe they are required to be there as they are in the same “organization” as the owner of this cafe and the head office wants it to appear as though they spend time with the “little person.” They assign upper management to make “friends.” These “friends” have brought in their own brew as they do not want to verbalize who they are, to protect their identities–they have own their intimate friends, this is work. They may or may not “Like” a performance, pending on if they have looked up from their PDF at the right moment. If the owner visits their raised table by the door, these individual are seasoned small talkers and can often fool those seeking relationships, with shallow compliments and airs of importance.

This is where I found myself. In multiple spots, actually.

I realized how blessed I have been to be invited into the lives of people. I was convicted of my own distraction when some are stepping out of their comfort zone and putting themselves out there to be judged. I saw how many are distracted so these folks solos go almost unnoticed, with few, if any “likes.”

I also became painfully aware of others who were using this cafe to further their own personal interests, not to build relationships which was the purpose/dream of this cafe. Then there was the PDF people. Can you even call these people friends, if they were assigned to be there?

This was from whom I received the Christmas card.

I summoned the bouncer. It’s hard enough putting oneself up there to speak of personal situations, but assigned audience members who remain quiet, watch w/out participation, then report their finding to others, feels a little “stalky.”

Again: “BOUNCER!!!!”

Let’s go back to the word: “James 1:22 But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”

We were put on this earth not to watch everyone else live their lives, but to participate, encourage, maybe even become barista’s in their shops, if we have the time. If we don’t, we are deceiving ourselves and eventually will be “bounced” when we are found out.

Where are you seated?

Until January 9th: Blessings

 

 

Author: Tracy Cook

Widowed one week before our 27th wedding anniversary, Heavenly Dad continues to carry me, now blessing me with a second chance for love.

6 thoughts on “The Facebook Bouncer”

  1. Thank you. One question, how come when I post something uplifting I only get like seven likes, and my complaining friend gets 102 stinking likes? It does ring true, HE WHO SHOUTS THE LOUDEST GETS HEARD.

  2. I have missed your posts, looking forward to the 9th.. no matter what you write. I always receive a message. Thanks again for sharing
    Prayers and blessings your way

  3. Sounds like you should open a coffee shop … the intricate details sound like you have had some serious thoughts about such a place! Maybe someday eh – or would you “drink up” all your profits? Interesting thoughts about the bouncer though – protect yourself! Still praying for you into this New Year. Love you lots.

  4. This SO delighted me! I had to read it twice, and may go back for thirds. YOU are intricately made Tracy. Your thought process was amazing. I was able to walk with you through those cafe doors and smell the aroma of my favorite tea. I absolutely love your way with words. You knew how to involve me in your story. As you described fb users, viewers, onlookers, stalkers and the balkers I was thoroughly entertained!
    Lord help me to be a doer of your word and not just a hearer. I’m an encourager by heart, show me my mission.

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