Social Media, Sarah's Thoughts

First, let me say that because I implicitly trust my marketing twin, Donny, I reduced the size of my video yesterday. He said that it was too big for the column and driving him crazy. He's a website guy -- I trust him. However, when I pulled it up on Safari, it looked muy bueno over here. But, again, because I trust Donny, I did precisely what he said and now it is a tiny little box on my Safari, but I hope it fits on his computer... :-)

P.S. (Donny, why are you Twin #2? Did you lose an arm wrestling match with Randy? Inquiring minds...)

So, yeah. Social media. It's everywhere. And if you want to: start a ministry, sell a book, launch an idea, or simply take a poll of people, you had better get on board and be on social media, too. And I am 'cause I want to do most of these things -- usually all on the same day, then I get overwhelmed and need a nap, but you get the idea.

Granted, using these things effectively (along with your time) requires discipline, and that's where the hard part comes in. It is SOOOoooooo easy to get on facebook, start chatting or looking at pictures, and before you know it, you are looking at 76 pictures of someone's vacation -- that isn't even your facebook friend and you don't even know anybody in the pictures. Oh, yes, I've done that too many times to count.

It is after some of those time-squandering moments that I want to dismantle all accounts (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and become a monk (can women be monks?) to the technology world. I'm sure the twitching would subside in time... Throwing the baby out with the bath water, if you will.

It was in this 'going to be a technology monk' frame of mind recently that I decided to take a deep breath, step back, and evaluate social media in my life. How has it impacted my life recently and/ or have I impacted anyone else's life using social media? So... besides simply telling you how much I love watching my kids play sports or that I'm going to go workout, here are some ways social media has impacted/ affected my life recently:

** Introduced me to a group of people that I am now starting a ministry with.

** Allows me to peek into my children's lives and hear them interact with their friends.

** Given me the support of fellow writers and speakers I met at She Speaks.

** Got my husband within a hair's breadth of losing his job (long story, not blog fodder).

** Same situation, showed my husband folks who were willing to support him with or without a job.

** Let me reach out to a young lady discussing ending her life. Don't THINK she was serious, but I wasn't going to take the chance. Would you?

** Challenges me to listen to others' point of view instead of shouting my own.

** Was able to see my daughter reach out to a teammate whose facebook status was: "I think I need to be going to church." Guess who came with us to church last Sunday?

** Gave me help on an article.

** Lets me know about good businesses in town -- and bad.

... and on and on. After reading Crazy Love, I have really tried to think 'eternally minded' and wondered if facebook and Twitter fit in there. If you read through that list, you can see that they do. However, the temptation is to be the pharisee (and I certainly can see how my happy little list makes me look like one) and spend way more time updating your status about gooey Jesus love than actually getting out and living messy Jesus love.

So, in short, (don't people always say 'in short' when it's waaaaay too late to make it short?? :-) social media is like the rest of the world: there are pros and cons, good and bad, and God can use it all. I'm trying to look for the eternity opportunities on social media.

One person that has inspired me is John Dobbs. I know he seeks out ways to find local people on Twitter and Facebook so that he can connect with them and find out their needs -- prayer needs, physical needs, whatever. However they may need that messy Jesus love.

So, what about you? Do you Tweet? Are you on facebook? Do you think it's useless and time-wasting? Or a new way to minister? Or a new way to get in trouble? What do you think?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So sorry but I am still getting used to just the word part of texting. I've never made a smiley in my life (except with my actual mouth, of course.)

Jana Beck

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