Twitter and Facebook have changed the way I live. Before Christmas I sent out the following tweet/status update:
Eggnog is just liquid fruitcake. It’s only around during the holidays. And I’d rather get kicked in the knee than consume either one.
So began a heated and entertaining debate on the merits of eggnog. And fruitcake. Passions rose. Lines were drawn. And then… a challenge from my Cincinnati Twitter friend @utech…
@jskogerboe you need to send me your address so I can send you one of my Christmas Spice Cakes (aka fruitcake)…
So, I did…
@utech OK, you Packer-loving baking machine. Make me a believer. 4401 Adair Avenue North, Crystal, MN 55422
Smashcut to me cutting open a toaster sized cardboard box last week. Looking at the return address. UTECH. A) He baked. B) He took the time to package it up like a nuclear weapon in multiple layers of foil, plastic wrap, and those awesome biodegradable packing foam peanuts. C) He paid to ship it. To my house. In Minnesota.
I don’t care WHAT you think about the delectable or unsavory nature of fruitcake. There is NOTHING BETTER than receiving baked goods in the mail. Except maybe for a huge check. Or a letter from a long lost brother you thought never made it back from the war. But still… baked goods are right up there. Top five.
When Social Media connection spills over into real-life interactions, life is better for it. When Social Media takes the place of real-life interactions, life is robbed by it. But I submit this hypothesis for the skeptics… I think that second scenario is rare. I think that Social Media, like every technological advance in communication, is a very real change in the way our world works – and whose BENEFITS far outweigh its dangers. I think YouTwitFace has redefined community – and I like what I see.
Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, *fill in the blank* are often derided as frivolous by the skeptics. For those not wired (pardon the ironic use of metaphor) to be interested in technology, Social Media is often written off as a passing fad. An unnecessary distraction from REAL relationships – and the learning curve is just TOO high to deal with. Therefore, it must be bad. Or childish. Or insignificant. If this is where you live, it’s time to consider moving…
My network of relationships is spread around the country and around the world. Today I have laughed, argued, and/or had direct conversations with connections from New Zealand, Australia, Great Britain, Texas, Florida, and Tennessee. I recruited a bass player for our church this week via Twitter. I’ve had intensely personal chats online in Facebook this week. Prayer requests spread through the Social network like a wave. Life can be lived transparently now – tweets and status updates sharing information, thoughts, concerns, ideas. Social Media provides real time connection between the face to face interactions of life.
I have never been very good at staying in touch with family and friends. But now, I can easily pop in and out of conversations. Share pictures and video clips. Articles and blog posts. Little touch points with people that matter. I thank God for YouTwitFace.
It took a long time for my good wife to jump into the Facebook pool. But she tried it… Dipping her toes in at first. Now she’s a regular Michael Phelps. (But way more attractive, and unencumbered by dodgy illegal drug use photos.) She loves watching relational connections multiply. Earlier this winter she used Facebook to arrange for an out-of-state childhood friend to join her for a Women’s Ministry event at Living Hope Church here in the Twin Cities. Now she is watching her friends from her work life, from her church, from her childhood all connect and stay in contact and interact by way of YouTwitFace. It’s awesome. And I mean that with some gravitas. It is *awesome* to see how technology can fuel relationships.
The local church – your church – needs to embrace YouTwitFace. Social Media is more than “Just had a sandwich. Changing my shirt. LOL.” We used the printing press to make Bibles available to the masses. Social Media can deepen relational connections. The technological change is as big now as it was then. The world is different now. It’s time to get in the pool. It’s time for the church to do life together.
I can’t guarantee that Twitter will lead to baked goods for you. But it might. How has YouTwitFace made your life better? Post a comment below. The world has changed. Get in the pool. Oh, and I prefer my chocolate chip cookies with no nuts… just a note for whomever might be so inclined. My address is clearly and intentionally listed above. Good times.
“of twitter and fruitcake :: open letter to social media skeptics who will never read this because they won’t see the tweet…” by Joshua Skogerboe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.