Tag Archives: social media

Who (or what) am I going to trample?

I recently read what was presented as an African proverb:

When elephants fight, the grass gets trampled.

(I’ve also seen it as “it is the grass that suffers”; the idea is the same)

Like most proverbs, this can be applied a number of different ways. Where I’ve tried to take it to heart is to remember that so often when I go to battle, somebody (or something) suffers. There is collateral damage.

So I’m trying to do better at choosing my battles. Is this Facebook argument worth the cost? Am I willing to damage friendships, reduce ministry effectiveness, expend valuable time over that political argument or that doctrinal discussion? Is that change at church important enough to cause others to leave our congregation?

Sometimes, of course, the answer is yes. Many times, however, I have to admit that even if I “win” the argument, I won’t accomplish much of anything that is positive. And the grass gets trampled.

I may have to print that one out and keep it above my computer.

photo by dailyprinciples on Pixabay

Can Facebook posts change your mind?

facebookI posted on Facebook the other day, discouraging my friends from sharing their political posts. Someone asked me what the difference was between me sharing religious thoughts and others sharing political posts. In the discussion, I and others pointed out that Facebook discussions almost never sway people to leave their previously held views. I don’t try to convert people to Jesus via Facebook posts. I don’t expect people to switch from one party’s candidate to the other because of political posts on Facebook.

Fact is, people mainly read what they already agree with. Facebook’s algorithm’s encourage this; when you hit LIKE, they show you more posts that are similar to what you have endorsed.

But I’m willing to be corrected. There has to be some value in public discussion of issues, be they religious or political. What do you think? How can Facebook (and other social media) be used to persuade and change? Is it possible? Or are social networks only good for reinforcing previously held views?

Locusts and Internet groups

I was traveling this past weekend, doing a “Christ and Culture” seminar for Herald of Truth down in Lake Jackson, Texas. While on airplanes, I try to catch up on some of the magazine reading that I don’t seem to get to here in Abilene. This time I was reading an interesting article in Wired magazine called “What Social Media Reveals About Cannibalistic Locusts” (how could you resist a title like that?).

Here’s a quote that especially caught my attention:

People get stuck in groups that turn into frenzied action, but for us, these clusters are built around common interests, politics, and background. “The longer you have an opinion, the longer you’ll have neighbors who share it and the higher the probability that everyone in the group is marching in the same direction,” says Cristián Huepe, lead author of the locust study.

I can see myself in that quote. Can’t you?

Social Networking for Kingdom Advancement

On Friday, I gave a class at the Global Missions Conference on the subject of “Social Networking for Kingdom Advancement.” As I prepared, I’ll admit that I envisioned speaking to my peers, either people promoting a non-profit, a mission effort or a church. There ended up being a few college students in the class; I’m not sure that they got as much out of it.

I shared much of what I’ve shared here. I spoke of some of the history of the church and social media, looked at some myths about social media, then discussed the “best practices” that I presented on this blog a few months ago. From there, we looked at some practical tips for special media. I ran out of time, which is unusual for me. I realized that it would have been easy to do a whole class on Facebook, another on Twitter, etc.

At the end of the class, I offered some resources I’ve found. I won’t include all of them here, but if you’re interested in the subject, here are a few good sources of information:

I may get the chance to do similar presentations in the future. If you were going to attend, what would you want to learn? If you were going to teach, what would you want to share?

What social media do you use?

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was preparing a class on social media to be given at the Global Missions Conference. Well, the conference is next week, so it’s time for me to be finishing up my preparation.

I wanted to get one last bit of input from my readers. What social networks do you use? What websites do you use to interact with other people? I’ll throw out some suggestions. Please feel free to point me to things I might not have considered.

I hope you’ll vote in the poll, and I especially hope that you’ll use the comments section to describe your usage.

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