Coffee Talk: Social Networking – Why Do It?

 

“People get into adulterous relationships.”

“It’s time consuming.”

“I don’t know how.”

These are some of the excuses that I hear from people not wanting to use social media. Rarely do they continue the conversation to discuss that adultery is a heart issue, not the problem for the creators of Facebook. Wasting time in any capacity normally reveals a lack of discipline, and we can’t blame video games or the internet for that either. Not knowing how to use social media is a lack of education issue that can be easily addressed if you ask someone who is already using it. Most of the social networking tools are designed to be user-friendly. Nobody wants to use something that is cumbersome.

“Connecting with family and friends across the world” is most likely the popular option for people who chose to use social media.

Social media is a means of making connections.

I admit that there are challenges to using social networking sites like Facebook. In addition to Facebook (which I only use to connect with my family and personal friends), there are also benefits for connecting through sites like Twitter.

Connecting online gives us the ability to enter into someone else’s world and invite them into ours. Social Networking is another tool for each of us to share in the great commission of taking the gospel to all nations. With a click of a button I can send the words “Jesus saves” to thousands of people across the world.

Here’s the truth, there are a lot of negative influences exposed on the internet. For that reason alone, Christians should show up on the social battlefield regularly and be prepared to engage in spiritual battle.

We can use the social networking to share our love for Jesus, other believers in Christ, and even our enemies. We can use social networking to create fellowships with others. While some may disagree that fellowship can take place online, I have experienced the benefits of online fellowship in my own life. I would agree, however, that online cannot be the only place that we participate in fellowship.

My current sources for connecting online are email, blogging, Skpe, Facebook, and Twitter. I also enjoy watching others use YouTube and personal websites to connect.

There are other tools out there to consider. We can’t do it all, but search around and see which tools work best for you. Did I mention that most of these resources are FREE?

Of course, everyone has the right to not use technology (and I fought it for a little while myself), but my husband warned me not to look puzzled when other people were using technology responsibly and reaping the benefits. After this wake-up call, I decided to engage and I have been connecting and engaging on this battlefield ever since.

What technologies do you use to connect with others? Why do you use them? What are your recommendations for social success?

© Natasha S. Robinson 2011

8 thoughts on “Coffee Talk: Social Networking – Why Do It?

  1. I have experienced connecting with you via social media firsthand. We connected on Twitter. I really appreciate the fact that you are so personable and more importantly, that you love our Lord and Savior.

    I currently make use of several blogs (one to share good news about my new baby, one personal blog where I share random information such as product reviews, funny stories, etc., and one that I hope to turn into a business one day – http://www.mochasandmiracles.com), twitter, email, and facebook. I began playing around with Tumblr, but I’m not sure I love it yet.

    Thanks for taking advantage of social media…or else we never would have connected!

    Mylah Stanton
    @MylahSai (twitter)
    @mochasmiracles (twitter)

    1. I, too, am glad that we have connected, Mylah! I can’t wait to see what God does with your vision.

      Please educate us with a 2-3 sentence summary answering the question, “What is Tumblr and why you use it?”

      Thanks so much for your words of encouragement.

      1. I would define Tumblr as a “photo blog” even though it has more features than that. Using Tumblr allows you to blog, post pictures, quotes, videos, etc. What bothers me about it is it’s seemingly lack of order…but perhaps that is the “user’s” fault. (smile) I only use it because I wanted to see what the hype was about…not impressed just yet.

  2. I agree that Facebook and similar sites have great uses–I love being able to stay in touch with college friends who’ve moved all over the US. But I do think we need to be careful when trying to “minister” with sites like this. One may be able to send “Jesus saves” to thousands of people, but outside of the context of human relationships and personal connections, those are just trite, meaningless words, you know? –static that can blur the real gospel message. It joins the realm of Jesus bumper stickers and billboards.

    Not to distract from your main point–I really like that you’re defending Facebook from some of the silly attacks on it that have come out recently. Like I said, I think there’s a lot of good that can happen online. I guess I just think we need to be mindful of the temptation to pursue easy, noncommittal “witnessing” that’s really nothing more than spamming. Online or face-to-face, ministry means investing in relationships and serving others–which is neither quick nor easy.

    1. I agree wholeheartedly, John. Social networking cannot be used to replace actual human relationships. On the other hand, they can be a somewhat non-threatening (depending on which sources and what approach used) way to start online dialog about what really counts. Thanks for commenting.

    1. Thanks for sharing the link, Judy. I love your insight that social media gives us the opportunity to bring God’s world together (or minister more effectively on an international level). Grateful for your leadership and all that you do. Blessings, Natasha

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s