Problem with Church and Social Media #wiredchurch #smchurch

Developers without theology and theology without awareness/insight of tools we could leverage.  This is the impetus of my previous blog post.  We miss the boat on both ends.  We seemingly feel no qualms or danger in adopting the tools and use them in exactly the same way.  The people who could tell us about the possibilities that are out there (the developers,  since they are the ones searching for tools and learning about them in their constant hanging out at places where tools,  both present and upcoming,  are explored).  But in so many cases,  the developers are recruited from the same pools that feed the world in general.  The vision for the kind of community the church embodies and needs to embody is not so central in their energies for development.  And the people who do have this distinct community of the church in focus,  are not thinking much about how the church should be different in the way social media is implemented.  To be sure,  there are many overlaps.  It is an innate good to have the connections,  and to be encouraging others to have voice in the conversation.  We share these basics in common with the general focus of Social Media out there.  And there are certainly Social Media gurus with very overt social conscience.  We can have common ground there.  But we have more work to do. What other elements of the distinct community that is the church are calling to us to be enhanced and extended  by social media?  This is what I want to help us explore,  and experience. 

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About Theoblogical

I am a Web developer with a background in theology, sociology and communications. I love to read, watch movies, sports, and am looking for authentic church.

2 Replies to “Problem with Church and Social Media #wiredchurch #smchurch”

  1. Theoblogical Post author

    Larry,

    Thanks for your comments. I think that this highlights the need for a discerning of what we are doing online, for the sake of those we claim to be serving by being there. If we simply just “jump in” and “get on Facebook” or “on Twitter”, we do not give proper attention to the channel and its possible implications on human interaction, and on individual persons. There is, for me, a very palpable sense that the church often does all this to show its “coolness” and “relevance” rather than out of an authentic desire to listen. And this has often been born out as I “show up” in a ftf church setting. The energy in amny cases seems to moving out of the social context in which we move about and relate ftf, and into a world of “always connected”; the “hyperconnectivity” that Jesse Rice observes in his book “The Church of Facebook”.

    IMHO, the church needs to be about getting with the program of paying much better attention to socio/psychological implications of online interaction and challenge the blanket adoption of everything “social media”, not in order to reject it, but to better utilize it, and be “pastors” in that space.

  2. larryhol

    Dale,
    This is a key issue. You’re asking the “right” question, I think. And I have been wondering how online community can affect us emotionally and psychologically, in ways that are also important in face to face relationships. What does connection mean online in a deeper definition than point to point communication. What is interpersonal connection is made? And if I’m needing emotional support can it happen meaningfully online? And does online lead to face to face, especially in a world that’s isolating and anonymous?

    These are some of the thoughts your question leads me to think about.

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