Social media: Pensées au sujet des medias sociaux

Thoughts about social media

The last few years I jumped into the social media frenzy: learning, participating, engaging, listening and observing. I thought it would be fun to highlight some of my thoughts. After all, we’re all human…

Social Media is a cure of LIAR’s
LIAR stands for Low Information to Action Ratio… The dilemma many deal with is having too much information. This eventually trains people to ignore large volumes of solid thought. In a real sense our information driven culture trained us to ignore Sunday mornings or other “data dumps.” This leads to us knowing lots, but acting little. Social media is an ironic cure.

Social media helps in two venues:

  1. It breaks large chunks to doable small chunks. The best example observed: Rick Warren’s tweets.
  2. It builds a passive accountability. Social media gives opportunity to soak, digest and respond to information given. It allows community to live truth out together in real-time.

Social media is the Borg at birth
Star Trek created the Borg as an allegory for over invasive technology. If you read up on this sci-fi nemesis, you’ll find remarkable parallels. While the real-time connection to community is a help, it is also a vice. The Borg, even while right next to each other, have a blank stare and only connect through the hive (network). Kind of like talking to your friends by texting when they are right in front of you. This hurts.

Social media hurts in two venues:

  1. Artificial communication often replaces organic real-time conversation. The text, Facebook, tweet replaces the sit down conversation over coffee. Nothing can replace human interaction. Environments, touch, smells, etc are equally important to the human experience and communication. These dimension cannot be carried by technology.
  2. Always on can lead to allows off. The ability to focus and develop the depth needed for many things can be diminished with social media. While processing one can lose the product. This is more than just getting work done, it is also a matter of deepening relationships; the key one being with God. Humans need down time and periods of quiet reflection. Always on breeds the expectation for always available. We’re not God. Let Him be the always on always available guy.

Social media is the new old
I hear often that social media is a revolutionary not evolutionary thing. I disagree. Social media demonstrates something that has always been true: People want to be known, their fallenness unknown and both openly revealed. Any engagement with humans leads to this interplay. While the technology, feel and look may be new, human nature and the proverb…I mean torch runner… I mean bumper telegram…sigh… are still around.

The old renewed:

  1. Human depravity and redemption is active in social media because we can not escape our depravity and need of the Spirit. We can’t stop being human.
  2. Humanity always craves simple and brief tidbits of communication.

The bottom line
While social media is in vogue and seemingly new, it reveals that which is true of all ages. It has strengths it has weaknesses and it will be used for both. I do not advocate balance & wisdom. I do not advocate passionate usage & complete openness. I advocate remembering we are human: fallen and in need of redemption. We cannot escape that and anything “revolutionary” will point out that we’re a mess and God loves us anyway. C’est la vie.

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