I just finished watching The Social Network (the movie) It’s unbelievable to me how the whole Facebook phenomenon came to be and how it’s caught on so successfully with adults and students alike. Almost everyone I know has some sort of social media account. With the plethora of smartphones abounding, you can be connected via Facebook or Twitter almost constantly. So what does that mean for the Christian? Do we have specific obligations when it comes to social media?
Authors Chuck Giacinto and Bryce Conlan explore the Christian’s role in social media in their new book Cloud Culture. Though the authors make several good points in their book, I can’t say the text was especially riveting. I read all the way to page 36 before I found anything worth bookmarking. The content was a little bland and it seemed to lack depth or complexity.
The main premise of the book is to caution Christians in their use of social media. The authors explain that we are still light the world whether that’s in real life or via twitter, but when posting something on the Internet, implications are often permanent. We need to think about how our words might be misconstrued or how they may look to somebody who’s exploring faith for the first time.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:
- While most of us will never become famous, social media has created a place where he went to be seen to be heard without regard to who you are, how much money you have, or how popular you are. Everyone has an opportunity to be heard (page 36).
- How are you using the tool of social media? Do your words pour out his constant negativity, or do they restore life with every written line? Are your words generally empty? Or, do they build up and encourage those who read them? (page 46)
- If in the end, if social media is ultimately about relationships, physical, first and foremost, should be to strengthen and deepen our relationship with God as well as the horizontal relationships in our lives.
With its emphasis on intentionality and setting proper boundaries with the use of social media, I feel like this would look would be good for:
- people not yet entered the social media world at all
- people who feel like social media is evil
- teenagers who lack social media etiquette
- people who have let social media overtake their real-life
- people who want to use social media to really make a difference
At any rate, this seems like more of a “library book” rather than a “purchase book” to me, but but take a look and see for yourself! We’re giving away a copy of Cloud Culture. Just leave me a comment and tell me what your biggest social media struggle is to enter! You can leave one comment a day.