I don't know how many on-line things you subscribe to, but at last count it's at least 30 for me: hings like catalogues from bike shops, canoe and paddling outfits, magazines, bargain notices from vendors and on and on.
There are all sorts of pastoral issues involved in this fact. For example, since I have only one email address (honest!) all personal and work stuff comes to the same address. Thus the temptation into which I lead myself: "Read and process personal stuff on church time."
OK, confession time: Yup, that happens. But on the other hand, that stuff offers a diversion when words and ideas for sermons aren't following discernible paths of sense, truth, interest, biblical faithfulness. Come on. Everybody needs a break. Gimme one and take one yourself!! But not too many or too long.
I also have a Facebook account, but brother, is it poverty-stricken. I haven't even posted a picture. Worse, I keep forgetting the password, because I have at least a dozen passwords for my two-dozen plus on-line accounts to bike shops, Amazon, Via Rail, Air Miles and more. To keep them straight, I'm thinking of printing them all with the accounts listed alongside and taping them to my file cabinet. My wife Rose says that's not a good idea. But it would sure save time.
Which is only one reason why I don't tweet. I don't have enough time to tweet, even though I have no more or less time than anyone else. I'm not all that enamoured of blogging even or following other blogs. OK, this attempt at Network blogs seems kinda fun and also has some redeeming social and pastoral purposes. (Maybe even this blog.)
But instead of taking more of your time by listing more reasons why I don't tweet, I'm going to give you a link that anyone who subscribes to Leadership on-line might have already seen. But it's a good one! Skye Jethani, editor of Leadership listed his own reasons and they're at least as good, probably better, than anything I could come up with.
Take a look at this and at some of the riotous and ironic comments at the end of Jethani's column or blog or super-long tweet or whatever it is.
Are we wasting our time yet?
By the way, I put the title of this blog in quotation marks, because if you've looked at this Pastors Network, you may have read my own article on plagiarizing. (I mean NOT plagiarizing.) Of course, Skye Jethani entitled his blog or whatever "Why I Don't Tweet," even though I wanted to write something like that. He beat me to the punch. So I HAD to quote him in the title.
Now for the pastoral punchline to this blog: After (if?) you read this or Jethani's piece, maybe you can pass it on to friends or congregation members to see if it prods them to think or respond to how we use or DON'T use all the social networking tools (or toys?) available.
Do you tweet? Follow others' tweets, blogs, Facebook? How do you find the time? How do you limit yourself?
I am a self-proclaimed "Facebook junkie" who uses Facebook for both personal and professional connections.
I have used Twitter sporadically, but I don't really use it anymore for the simple reason that I can't see ANYTHING that Twitter does that can't be done on Facebook. When I started "following" people on Twitter, I soon discovered that many of them were simply pushing their Tweets out to Facebook, which meant that I was reading everything twice.
I certainly cannot offer up a biblical defense for my use of Facebook, but Twitter just annoys me, as I am convinced that this application is a true case of the Emperor wearing no clothes.
And "FacebookandTwitter" is NOT a word!
(the views expressed in this post are my own and do not represent the views of my employer.)
I don't tweet either. I am human and not a bird :)
To me it's both the case of time management (pastors blogs can be an exception) and the fact that whatever I put out there on facebook is there for the congregation to see and judge. A careless word posted can be damaging to my ministry, even if I never intend it to be such. My gut feeling is that more people want to be heard than to hear others. From what I understand of Twitter, it encourages people to be quick to speak...the Bible has words of caution for that behavior. Proverbs 10:19 "When words are many sin is not absent but he who holds his tongue is wise".
But forums and discussion threads such as this one can be helpful for gaining wisdom if one's goal is to listen to others at least as much as it is to speak (overcoming the great temptation of preachers :)
I have a thought about the comments regarding not participating in Twitter, or Facebook, or whatever it might be, because you don't have time. I hear that comment over and over again when I talk about how much I love to read. I'd estimate that about 98% of the time, the person I'm talking to says he or she would read more if they just had the time. My inner thought is, "And you think I have more time than you do?" No, it's a matter of priorities. I want to read a lot so I do. It's where I've decided to spend my time. I could even be accused (and have been) of being addicted to reading. I often use it as an escape, and I often neglect things more important in order to read.
I'm sure people who exercise faithfully hear similar responses, or who write, or who meditate faithfully, whatever. I know reading, exercising, writing and meditating are different than using Facebook or Twitter but using Facebook or Twitter can evoke some of the same responses, as can many activities. And as with most things, there are many reasons for participating or not participating.
I myself enjoy Facebook and I think a big reason I do is that I'm a social person who loves to connect with people as much as I can. Some people are more private or have a smaller social circle so they might not find Facebook as fun or interesting as I do. I have a Twitter account and I follow some technology-related Tweeters to keep up on some technology I'm interested in, as well as a few celebrities who I find entertaining. I don’t have any friends who’ve latched onto Twitter so I don’t tweet much myself, but I think I could enjoy using Twitter a lot if I did.
Anyway, I'm not sure exactly what my point is. It's not a huge issue with me or anything. I don't hold it against anyone who tells me they don't have time to read. I’ve come to expect that response. I guess maybe my point is that there are most likely different reasons than time management for using or not using Twitter.
I Tweet and Facebook. Those are my main social networks where I have actually done ministry with other people in my congregation and friends. I mainly use Twitter for colleagues in ministry across denom lines, but I do follow some interests such as homebrewing, cooking and music.
I have learned about online webinars and valuable resources that I would have otherwise missed.
Social networking is not for everyone, especially the less computer and internet savvy who would most likely find it an infringement on their time.
For me it is part of my ministry tool set.
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