Social media gives us a platform to toss our ideas out into an ocean of data, updates, and information and allow a wide variety of people to receive that information. What effects does that have on us? In just one click you can tweet a few hundred or a few thousand people who follow you. In just a click you can have your facebook friends here whatever it is you are up to or whatever you are thinking about at the moment. Blogging allows one to put out all kinds of ideas for public consumption. We are normally focused on the affect our communication has on those who are receiving it. But what affect does it have on those who are producing and sharing that information?
- I wonder if it doesn’t create a desire to always have something clever to say. Or maybe you just think everything you have to say is clever and so that really hasn’t ever crossed your mind.
- We tend to make ourselves the focus of the information. Our postmodern society places a high value on multiple perspectives and vantage points. There is a lot of good in that. But it also comes with challenges when we feel we constantly have to call attention to ourselves (what we are doing, where we went on vacation, what we had for dinner, who we are hanging out with, who we met, etc).
- It can give us a false sense of importance. Once you think you are the center of everything it can become easy to find your value through the level of attention, feedback and following you get. That is not to say we are not important…rather, we can get out of balance and find our value in the wrong place.
- Engaging in Controversy is more attractive. The tendency is to spend time talking about those things that spark a reaction (new followers, new comments, new facebook friends, more shares, etc). We can put controversy over substance. Controversy sometimes has to come up but we shouldn’t be bringing it up in order to bring more attention to ourselves.
- It can make talking more important than doing. There are some guys that I read who have a million different ideas and theories about ministry but it leaves me wondering how many of those things they are taking meaningful action on. If it is just talk, it might gain us an audience but it seems kind of empty if it never gets to the level of action. In all honesty, your thoughts are going to be refined and improved by the actions you take on the ideas you have. Just because you have a great new idea doesn’t mean you have to share it. Do something with it first and then see if it really pans out…what is more, your points will become better as you see how it works out in the real world.
- It can reduce people to a number. One more follower, one more commenter, one more page view. It can dull our sense that all people are made in the image of God and start seeing people as existing for the purpose of our own advancement. I know that sounds extreme but it is entirely possible and does happen.