Culture

The Evils of Twitter & Facebook…Do You Agree?

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August 3rd, 2009

see-no-evilSo while trolling my Twitter feed this morning, I came across a tweet from YS author & friend, Terry Linhart (aka @terlinhart on Twitter–you might want to follow him!). Terry said: As a researcher, I look at outcomes/data when I evaluate. @TimStevens says we should do the same with social media – http://bit.ly/Zv6Ni If you follow that link, you go to a great blog post from a pastor named Tim Stevens, entitled “Everybody Agrees…Twitter & Facebook are Bad.” Basically, in his post, he argues in favor of social media for the church, in spite of what the Archbishop of the Catholic Church of England said about social networking sites like Facebook. The Archbishop was quoted in an interview, saying: “…the sites are leading teenagers to build ‘transient relationships’ which leave them unable to cope when their social networks collapse. He said the internet and mobile phones were ‘dehumanising’ comunity life.” The article continues, “He warned that the sites are contributing to a trend for teenagers to put too much importance on the number of friends they have and that this can ultimately lead to suicide.” I love Tim’s response to this. In defense of social networking Tim explains how churches and ministries are actually developing deeper community or even learning about the very community they’re trying to reach by using social media. As a great argument to the opponents, Tim says: But these are straw man arguments made by people who are either afraid of the medium, don’t understand it, have seen people abuse it, or are just ignorant of the value. Whatever the reason, when I hear it I get a little embarrassed for the speaker or writer. It’s like watching someone early last century arguing against people who used cars to travel from place to place. “People who drive are trying to avoid the face-to-face interaction you get from walking down the sidewalk and stopping to chat with the neighbors sitting on their front porch. Do you want to get places faster at the expense of spending time with people?” I’m curious…how many of you are facing these kinds of “social media is evil” challenges in your church or ministry context? How are you helping to educate the leaders who are still doubtful of the benefits of social media’s? Are you even trying to convince them at this point, or have you given up?

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