Technology Allows Multiple Ways of Communicating to the Masses…Does that Do Anything to Us?

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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Seth Godin Nails it On Technology & Communication

I really enjoy reading Seth Godin’s blog. If you don’t read it, you really should go there, read a few posts and consider subscribing via the email box on the left side of his blog. His post Toward resilience in communication (the end of cc) is so good that I want to point you to it and ask you to read it. In this post he explains technology and communication in today’s organizations as well as in social media. I am tempted to put some quotes from the article here but I would basically want to quote the whole thing. Here is one just to tease you into reading the whole thing,

We wait, hesitating, unsure who has received what and what needs to be resent. With this error rate comes an uncertainty where we used to have none (we’re certain of the transmission if you’re actively talking on the phone with us and we know if you got that certified mail.) It’s now hard to imagine the long cc email list as an idea choice for getting much done.

The last ten years have seen an explosion in asynchronous, broadcast messaging. Asynchronous, because unlike a phone call, the sender and the recipient aren’t necessarily interacting in real time. And broadcast, because most of the messaging that’s growing in volume is about one person reaching many, not about the intimacy of one to one. That makes sense, since the internet is at its best with low-resolution mass connection.

It’s like throwing a thousand bottles into the ocean and waiting to see who gets your message.

Amazon, eBay, Twitter, blogs, Pinterest, Facebook–they are all tools designed to make it easier to reach more and more people with a variation of faux intimacy. And this broadcast approach means that communication breaks down all the time… we have mass, but we’ve lost resiliency.

If We Follow Jesus’ Model We Will Do More Than We Say

Talk is a multi-gazillion dollar industry. Facebook, twitter, email, texts, phones, television, movies all have one thing in common…people talking. But catch the very last verse of the Gospel of John, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” He didn’t say Jesus said many other things (which I am sure he did) but that Jesus did many other things. Too often we get caught saying without doing. Saying something is certainly a lot easier than doing something but at the end of the day it isn’t what we talked about that will matter, it is what we did.

So let us not be consumed by unproductive conversation. Rather, let us be busy doing the things that have to do with eternal life. Imagine if you did one thing for the kingdom before you allowed yourself one tweet, blog post or facebook comment…What might this world look like? Which is more important vs which do we spend our time on?

All Twittered Out

After 50 tweets I have pretty much put all my best stuff out there 😉 Really, it is just one more thing I don’t have time for.

Looking Into Twitter

I get the gist of twitter but from you more experienced people what tips and tricks can you throw at me?

I added a twitter button to the right sidebar. I guess it is time I get caught up with the rest of the world. John Dobbs told me a couple years ago I needed to do this and I am just figuring out he was right. Thanks John! I also finally got my buttons over there to look at bit more tidy. Thanks html!

Come join my thirty some odd followers!