Thinking Out Loud

January 24, 2019

A Friend will Tell You

Filed under: character, Christianity, technology — paulthinkingoutloud @ 11:36 am

I began a sermon I did last summer with a group discussion question, “What is a true friend?” The idea was to answer with, “A true friend is someone who will …”

A small part of one of the original patent documents

One of the answers I’d prepared is, “A friend is someone who will tell you if your fly is down.” I think this would be more of a male thing, but then again, guys might not want to admit they’re looking in the direction of another guy’s zipper.

I mention all this because at some point yesterday morning my fly was down. So to speak. I discovered something rather horrendous in the “likes” section of my Twitter account. I looked at it for probably less than 2 seconds, just long enough to know where the original tweet had come from, and then removed it.

I do Twitter on my desktop computer through Firefox, not the Twitter app. This means anywhere I’ve been is in my browser history, which I only clean up at the end of the month. I identified the name of the account — it was rather distinct — and according to my computer I was never there.

But there’s always my phone. My phone is a bit of mystery at the best of times. Like a dog which has failed obedience training, it tends to wander off on its own sometimes. I don’t really accept that I was hacked as much as I think a combination of bizarre ‘recommended for you’ activity combined with me panic-pushing buttons trying to get the thing back on track. Unfortunately, there’s no history for the Twitter phone app.

I don’t know who sees “likes” on Twitter as opposed to who sees actual tweets, but I know that I see likes for a number of the accounts I follow, so I have to believe that some of my followers saw the image — or video; I didn’t have it on my screen long enough to remember — in their feeds.

But nobody said anything.

Perhaps they thought it was rather uncharacteristic of me and blamed it on some glitch.

Still, I had the power to remove it. A brief message would have sufficed. (Unless it wasn’t there that long, which I’m also wondering.)

What about you? Would you tell someone? If you came to the blog tomorrow and saw a picture which didn’t make sense in context, would you send me a note saying ‘I think you better check your last blog post’ or would you leave it to someone else?

The scriptures teach, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” A true friend will call you out on anything that’s out of character or just plain wrong. The following chapter in Proverbs has this warning: “In the end, people appreciate honest criticism far more than flattery.” (28:23 NLT, previous one is 27:6 NASB.)

…and if it happened that you saw the pic in question, I would like to know, and apologies for the visual assault.



  1. I didn’t see the pic – but I rarely check the Twitter feed, not even my own. I certainly would tell you though if I ever saw anything that didn’t fit.

    Comment by Lorne Anderson — January 24, 2019 @ 12:18 pm

  2. Sheesh life is complex. Wouldn’t know how in the world to figure out such complexity. Even if I did, I’d give you the benefit of the doubt unless it was consistent.
    Sounds like you’re rather over concerned.

    Comment by Brian C Stiller — January 24, 2019 @ 12:57 pm

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