Facebook is an interesting forum of social interaction. As we hide behind the keyboard and screen, our inhibitions are lowered – much like a drunk man who speaks his mind.

The other day I read a comment someone made. They were frustrated with a particular event that had occurred and stated it so. The initial flurry of response was to be in agreement, as different ones who related to the frustration, responded.

I too could see the frustration (and have experienced the same) but the conclusion to their frustration was wrong. I presented that point. I was promptly removed as a friend by both the original writer and her husband too. It was very disappointing that my alternative viewpoint was so obviously unpopular. I am sad to have lost the ‘friend’ status.

It’s probably why Facebook have a “LIKE” option only and refuse to put a “DISLIKE” option near every live feed comment made. They understand the ‘mob’ mentality and the danger of a perceived negative comment. They like and promote the ‘mob’ mentality… in reality, it sells advertising better.

Interestingly, the same thing has been around for a very long time. The short passage an ACTS 17 shows a similar thing and two types of response. On the one hand, some responded by trying to destroy what they were hearing through violence.

…other Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city.
Acts 17:5

…when the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God at Berea, some of them went there too, agitating the crowds and stirring them up.
Acts 17:13

But on the other hand, some responded by looking into what was being said for themselves. They took on the responsibility to search out the truth and not just dismiss it out of hand through violent means.

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
Acts 17:11

It is so easy to get caught up in a mob mentality. Do we need to resort to violent means when we don’t have our way or don’t understand a matter before us? Is it not wise to examine with diligence and consider the facts to decide for yourself… without the influence of the mob?

The key, I believe, is not to respond too prematurely, but to weigh a matter well before you choose to respond… even when hiding behind the perceived safety of Facebook.