Facebook-friends-map-008

10 Questions for Exploring the implications of Social Media

Hi friends, i am working on some questions to help Christians explore the implications of social media. Here are my 10 so far. Would love to hear what you think – either in answer to any of the questions, or suggestions for other questions. Many thanks

1. How would you describe your personal use of social media? (are you a social media fan or skeptic?)

2. Is social media is making you or your society less sociable or more sociable, why?

3. Read Nicholas Carr’s article, is Google making us stupid?

4. Do you think that Social Media can bring genuine social transformation or is it just a placebo – breeding a new generation of “slacktivists”? (see the video “social media for social change”)

5. Is it possible for a public figure to have private twitter and facebook account?

6. In your experience has the church taken a positive “early adopter” attitude or a more negative, reluctant “luddite” mentality to social media. (watch this video for more information)

7. What are the best examples you have seen of the church using social media well?

8. How can social media help the church to engage in a more global conversation?

9. Why do you think the use of social media has such a polarizing effect on different christian leaders and thinkers?

10. The apostle Paul explained how he became “all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” 1 Corinthians 9:22. What should the contextualisation of the church look like in a digital age?

Books you might find helpful on this subject:

10 thoughts on “10 Questions for Exploring the implications of Social Media”

  1. “We Think” by Charles Leadbeater is another very good book.

    It saddens me when leaders are very dismissive of social media (“I don’t want to know when someone is having a coffee”, “it’s a waste of time”) rather than recognising it’s happening and engaging or at least getting someone else on the case.

  2. I’m convinced that Christians need to be active in this field. In doing so, we’re following Jesus who became incarnate in the world, rather than stay aloof and our in heaven. But I think we need some rules of engagement, especially because public figures like bishops can find their private musings turned against them.
    Clergy and church workers need a robust code of practice, for their own protection, and for the sake of the reputation of the gospel.

    1. helpful comments nick, the codes of practice do seem necessary but also difficult to formulate in the open source open ended world of social media.

  3. 1. How would you describe your personal use of social media? (are you a social media fan or skeptic?)
    -Im a fan and addicted I must admit.

    2. Is social media is making you or your society less sociable or more sociable, why?
    -Much more sociable, maybe too much. When Im often home alone and feeling lonely I can only turn on the computer.

    3. Read Nicholas Carr’s article, is Google making us stupid?
    -“I’ve lost the ability to do that. Even a blog post of more than three or four paragraphs is too much to absorb. I skim it.” ” hehe :)

    5. Is it possible for a public figure to have private twitter and facebook account?
    -Maybe if you use the lock-function to only post very private or controversial updates only to friends you trust.

    6. In your experience has church has taken a positive “early adopter” attitude or a more negative, reluctant “luddite” mentality to social media. (watch this video for more information)
    -At least the norwegian church has a lazy attitude to social media. We are not many norwegian churches active on facebook.

    7. What are the best examples you have seen of the church using social media well?
    I hope my church is a fine example: http://www.facebook.com/hamarfrikirke. Its very helpful to put out information and be visible where the peoples are!
    I do too think that facebook are the reason that our youthnights we invite all the youths in the city to party(including and evangelizing mini-speech) in church have been so popular because of our facebook-page and facebook-events. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Viva-la-Vida/120395997970478

    8. How can social media help the church to engage in a more global conversation?
    Easy for churchleaders and churches with public pages to state their meanings a place where they can be followed by all people who are interested.

    9. Why do you think the use of social media has such a polarizing effect on different christian leaders and thinkers?
    -Easier to debate controversial issues.

    10. The apostle Paul explained how he became “all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” 1 Corinthians 9:22. What should the contextualisation of the church look like in a digital age?
    -That we should be available on social media for peoples there who need us!

    1. Jon Kristian’s point about the public/private divide is really interesting. We all want to connect with the “real” person, not some corporate publicity machine. So we crave those edgy tweets, those risky blog posts, and how do we know they’ve not been carefully crafted to get publicity?
      Krish – I notice you say your Twitter account is yours personally, but does that mean that you ought to have a public one for people like me who don’t actually know you, and a private one for your friends?
      How can we use social media to broaden our contacts, but do it safely and responsibly?
      I’m working on a blog post about this – I’ll post a link when it’s done

  4. Hi Krish

    Go put the kettle on and have another coffee before you read this!

    First of all surely by asking these questions on your blog you are already gearing up the comments to be more weighted from those who are more involved with/pro social media and therefore leave yourself with the risk on not getting very balanced answers. I suppose I would add several other questions, as I feel your basis is an assumption that social media is good.

    I think your first question should be “Under what circumstances could it be valid for an individual/Christian/church to be involved in social media? And in what circumstances would it be better not to be?”

    “What is the objective of being involved in social media? Is it just the desire to be cool? Or is it our tendency to feel these days our value is related to the number of signed up “friends” we have? Are our experiences or thoughts only valid when shared electronically?”

    Like you I am old enough to remember living outside the UK when communication with home was by letter and an occasional expensive phone call. So of course I love email, Skype and its equivalents, online shopping for birthdays when I’m ‘000s of miles away. I can’t imagine life overseas without the internet, but at the same time I think it would naïve to see the internet as without problems.

    I frequently get told how I should be on Facebook, but I haven’t yet been convinced how it is going to enhance my friendships certainly given the time it would absorb on keeping it updated. Nothing is better than talking and/or spending time with people. A US preacher at our international church (made up mostly of missionaries and a few misfits like me) here in Nicaragua mentioned before Christmas that we need to be very careful with Facebook, whilst it can be good to keep up with friends back home it affects our ability to be incarnational where God has called us to be. I think he has a good point.

    Another question then, “How does social media affect our ability to be incarnate/present with people?” OK I know it doesn’t stop us being of flesh which is the literal meaning, but I think you’ll understand.

    I’m not saying it’s impossible to be on Facebook and be connected face to face with people and be incarnate but it does require a lot of thought about how it is used. I would say you should rethink how you phrase question 6 your language indicates early acceptance of Facebook is the positive approach whilst those who are perhaps more cautious don’t need their concerns listened to and are more “luddite”. It is divise language, all be it I suspect you didn’t intend it so.

    When you ask in Q2 “Is social media making you or your society less sociable or more sociable?” We need to be clear that “my” society should really be “our” society, how does it impact even out of “your” group.

    Now don’t get me on Twitter!!!!!

    Jo

Comments are closed.