Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Next Story

Yesterday was the fifth anniversary of Twitter. As it happens, it coincided with a weeks experiment that I am having using twitter. If you don't know about twitter, until a week ago I was with you but am now feeling a little better informed. If you want a primer Michael Hyatt offers a beginners guide to twitter.

My conclusion is that like all things on the internet it has the capacity for great good and used selectively can be an enormous source of quality information. Brent Oberman (co-founder of Last-minute.com) speaking on the Today program commented that, "It really matters who you follow".   I couldn't agree more. My strategy has been to follow a few friends, some journalists, some celebs and notable church leaders. My conclusion is that most people don't have anything very interesting to say but a select few do. However, much as we may not like it technology and social media have changed everything and now we must all try to work out the implications on faith, work, family, relationships, community and the proclamation of the gospel 'afresh' to each generation.



(H/T Lesley)

The benefits of twitter.

1. A quick and easy source of news and comment (Today, BBC, Sky, Guardian)

2. A direct way to interesting posts on the net by bloggers, culture makers and commentators

3. A source of good quotes (Keller daily, Piper, C S Lewis, John C Maxwell, Tozer, Nicky Gumbel, Rick Warren, the Resurgence)

4. Does what Facebook does on 'News feed' but you get to choose who and what you get news from rather than 'the regulars' who annoyingly dominate.

I think Tim Challies new book called 'The next story: life and faith after the digital explosion' will be a helpful primer for many of us trying to work out the good from the bad on social media and its impact on culture and the church. Too often recently, I have observed people interacting with the people they are not with (me included on occasion sadly) whilst not engaging with those they are actually with. Over the last few months, I have become concerned about this and Lent has been a time to reflect and observe this in myself and others. We are becoming a nation that is being increasingly distracted and I am not sure it is a good thing. This promotional film  for 'The next story' tells us what many of us already know and it should awaken us to some reevaluation I hope. Oberman is right- it really does matter who you follow and I want it to be Jesus that occupies my time and thoughts and not Charlie Sheen.

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