Are We Selling Out to Social Media?

Have we been helped by social media and the streaming of General Conference?  I honestly don't know so I'm thinking out loud a bit.  Based on Facebook, Tweets and Blogs, it seems like those who are not in Tampa at #gc2012 are filled with angst and participating in a great deal of hand wringing and navel gazing.

For delegates, it maybe a help.  For caucuses (real or imagined) I'm sure it has been an effective way to communicate.  Maybe hearing all of us letting off steam publicly is helpful to those who represent us or maybe even just if our friends are paying attention.

Alas, I doubt it.

My concern from what I keep reading is that worry has replaced worship as central to gathering.  Comments have replaced connection.   The next tweet is more significant than the next talk.  We've gone to Facebook rather than face to face.

I hope that those who are serving as spiritual directors in Tampa and those churches hosting prayers in Annual Conferences will be uplifted so that they might lift up our candidates from around the globe.  The sycophantic selling out to social media as though it will redeem our time at General Conference is tragic.

Scott Ginsberg made his own observation and shared his reflections about conferences (coincidence?).  After years of traveling the country, Scott began to ask regarding these events...
Am I actually creating work that matters, or just distracting myself from what’s really important? Am I spending my time wisely, or am I just inventing things to do to preserve the illusion of productivity? Am I actually growing my business, or just satisfying my bottomless need for validation and approval? Am I actually delivering value to others, or just sitting in a corner trying to perfect myself? Am I actually connecting with my peers, or just playing dress up for the wrong audience? So I stopped. 
And what’s fascinating is, when I make creation my dominant act, I do learn. I do grow my business. I do deliver value to others. I do connect with my peers. I do feel part of a community. I do make meaning. 
I actually think this is more important to those of us NOT at General Conference (though it is valid to ask about our conferencing too) than those representing us.  I pray they will make meaning there while I live and strive to make meaning here - strive to create here.

May I Ask?  How much more creating are you doing through social media?  Is it benefiting the Kingdom of God?
May I Suggest?  Your comments (tweets, updates, etc) like everything you say and do reflect your soul's condition.  What is your social media life telling you about you?


Bob Kaylor said...

Interestingly, the social media connection has been exceptionally helpful so far and adds a dimension that was missing during the last General Conference. Our delegation is using Twitter to communicate as people are scattered over different committees. Folks back home are linking to a wide variety of news stories and impressions from delegates and those who are here. No, it isn't face to face (it is here, for the most part) but it is connecting people who have never been as linked before, allowing them to chat and ask questions in real time. I certainly see your point, but we're also seeing the upside here, too.

Ken L. Hagler said...

I'm so glad to hear that Bob. It did seem to be it has been helpful to those of you serving on your end. I just wasn't sure. If those needed connections are happening, then that is great.

To me, it appears, we're eavesdropping without all the information and getting our collective underwear in a bunch when it isn't helpful or productive.

If it is helping there, I'm glad, that answers one of my questions.

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