Facebook to Annoy Atheists With New Prayer Request Tool

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If you haven't yet deleted your Facebook account, here's yet another reason you might want to do so: they are unleashing a new prayer request tool. Say what?

In Facebook Groups employing the feature, members can use it to rally prayer power for upcoming job interviews, illnesses and other personal challenges big and small. After they create a post, other users can tap an “I prayed” button, respond with a “like” or other reaction, leave a comment or send a direct message.

If your experience with "the Facebook" is anything like mine, you might be wondering how this will change anything. I mean, people have been using the platform to beg for prayers for as long as it has been around. I'd have to agree with that assessment; however, I'd predict that something about making it an official feature will mean that users will see even more of this nonsense.

And of course, there's also what's behind the new feature.

Facebook began testing it in the U.S. in December as part of an ongoing effort to support faith communities, according to a statement attributed to a company spokesperson.

Right. Because if there's one thing "faith communities" always need more of it would have to be corporate support. Haven't we reached the point in modern society where we can recognize that enabling the persistence of religious delusion by explicitly pandering to it is ill advised? And if not, is there any hope for us as a species at all?

Okay, okay - enough hyperbole about that sort of thing. Circle back to the user experience and ask yourself how you'll feel about seeing "[name of friend] is asking for prayers" every time you access Facebook. I can't be the only one who would be annoyed at this. At the same time, there is something kind of perfect about it in the sense that it so aptly illustrates the sort of unthinking narcissism that has come to characterize much of what takes place on social media. It is always all about me and what I need. Since I deleted my Facebook account as well as the Atheist Revolution page, I won't have to experience this annoyance. If I hadn't already deleted my Facebook account, I suspect I'd be doing so now.

But wouldn't you want to know which of your friends is afflicted by religious delusion? No, I'm not sure I would. Something tells me it might be easier to maintain a relationship with them if I didn't know about their religious beliefs and they didn't know about my lack thereof. Besides, if they are someone I know offline and are the sort who would make prayer requests on their social media account, I suspect I wouldn't be surprised.