by

February 21, 2013

Do you like this?

I recently read a short blurb on Twitter which mentioned how important it is for religious leaders to use social media because, if you’re not online, you don’t exist to anyone under thirty. This reminded me of a discussion I had with my friend Joey Reed concerning Facebook, Twitter, and various other social media and how people of faith use them.

First, I’d like to point out every bit of new communication technology has had its detractors. From the Guttenberg press granting the unclean masses the ability to learn above their station to television rotting the minds of our children, complaints have been loud and forceful. It’s the same way with social media and the Internet.

Interestingly enough, the complaints about modern communications echo those of the past. I’ve met a number of educators, teachers, and religious leaders who complain about the availability of information on the Internet. Many whom I’ve met have been annoyed that anyone (the unclean masses) is able to learn without the need of a traditional lecturer. Some, it would seem, are upset because it takes them out of a position of power. They are no longer the arbiters of knowledge able to hand it out as some special mystical gift to the “chosen ones.”

Others complain that social media is ruining the minds of our children. It keeps them online too much. They’re engaged with online activities to such a degree they’re not able to interact with “the real world.” It sounds exactly like the same thing my parents told me when I was a child. “Derek,” they would say, “you keep playing those video games and watching TV all the time your brain is going to fall out and you won’t know how to deal with other people.” My mom is gone now and the Technological Age has left my father behind. I love them both very much and they were right about a number of things but, on this, they were very wrong.

Now, don’t misunderstand me. Both of these areas do need direction and guidance. For example, we need to be effective guides who will show others how to find good sources in a world of free information. As web 1.0 came on the scene, I learned the hard way that there was a great deal of horrible information out and about. Much of it was deliberate misinformation because geeks and nerds such as myself love to mess with people’s heads.

In the areas of consuming media, we have to also teach people how to be discerning. This is one reason I’m studying signs and symbols. I’m a huge believer in grace and try my best to see God in what would be considered by some the darkest and dirtiest corners of what is often loosely referred to as entertainment. I do not recommend this for everyone. In fact, I don’t even recommend it to myself where everything is concerned. There are some things even I’m not ready to handle.

by

February 21, 2013

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

How can we discern God's will for the future of The United Methodist Church? Through United Methodist Insight, leaders and influencers gain a broad vision of the news and views that are shaping the global denomination. Your financial support helps prepare United Methodist leaders for 21st century challenges of faith. Click on the donate button above for online giving. Or make checks payable to St. Stephen UMC and write "UM Insight" on the memo line. Then mail to United Methodist Insight, c/o St. Stephen United Methodist Church, 2520 Oates Drive, Mesquite, TX 75150. Thank you!

Sign up for the weekly compilation of UM Insight original content and articles from multiple sources of interest to the future of The United Methodist Church.
Teasers
  • Court Decisions

    UMC Trial Courts Have Options

    United Methodist "jurors" have many more options available to them than "not guilty" or "revoke credentials" in a pastor's church trial, writes the Rev. Jerry Eckert.

  • Dallas Wedding

    Supervisory Response Under Way for Rev. McElvaney

    Dallas Area Bishop Michael McKee has confirmed that a "supervisory response" is under way in the complaint against the Rev. Bill McElvaney for officiating at the religious wedding of a gay couple.

  • Washington Mudslide

    United Methodists Ready to Assist After Washington Mudslide

    The Pacific Northwest Conference's emergency response team stands poised to help a devastated community recovery from a massive mudslide, once critical rescue-and-recovery efforts conclude over the widespread and still dangerous debris field.

Built with Metro Publisher™