Tuesday, March 16, 2010

friends not fans...

If Jesus had a Twitter account, how would he run it? Seriously. Take a moment and think about social media--then decide if the early church would've used technology to connect with people across the globe.

I think so.

People feel differently about social media and it's uses. Some use it for marketing. Others use it for publicity. Many use it for socializing. Recently I started a Twitter account and a facebook page and I've had discussions with people I trust on how it should be run.

Like, should I be uber holy and only post scripture? What if people think I'm lame? Who should I follow and how do I interact?

The truth is I'm not uber holy, I am quite lame, and I still have awkward social moments (Yes, I was home-schooled). But since there are no strict rules on social media, I'm making them up as I go along.

For memories sake and posterity, I'm posting my rules here so I can remember them and share them with you:
  1. I don't have followers, I have friends. I don't hate on people who choose not to follow me on Twitter. It's their choice and I still would like to see what they're up to. But I realized that I'm not trying to be a SuperStar in life and I shouldn't care the about the ratio of people I follow versus who is following me. If you have a shirt on and you're not trying to sell something, I'll follow you.
  2. I don't have fans, I have friends. In The Name of Love has a facebook page and I love it! If I could get rid of my personal page and opt for that one, I would. People post prayer requests, funny stories, ask about future speaking events, or reply to a comment or link I post. But let's not get it twisted: I don't have fans.
  3. If you ask a personal question on the blog or through formsping that is anonymous, I probably will not answer it. There is no power in anonymity.
  4. Blogging is hard. Like really, really hard. I don't get paid a dime and I'm not trying to sell Amway or Pre-Paid Legal services. I blog because sometimes I feel as if it's my only voice to a world I cannot reach. Vienna, Austria--I blog for you. Queenstown, New Zealand--I blog for you. Santiago, Chile--I blog for you. Ozark, Arkansas--I blog for you. I pour out my heart with simple words... because words are all I have.
So, what are your rules? Am I missing any? How do you tweet and what do you say? Why is Jon Gosselin still in the limelight? Why is Suri Cruise the most gorgeous little girl in the whole world?

Power to the people,


Ivee said...

Hi Bianca, I've been following your blog for quite a while, and your posts have given me hope and encouragement in the Lord, even in my darkest moments, even when I was so far away from Him about six months ago, struggling with hurts and betrayal even as a worship leader in my own youth ministry. I'm not from Vienna, nor Santiago, but still the words God inspire you to write have made a difference in my life and broken me to tears many times. I'm from Singapore, Singapore (you would probably have to zoom in a few times to see it on googlemaps), and I'm currently studying in a small university in a small town in Sweden. I pray God will continue to bless you and your ministry, as you inspire hope and love in the hearts of many around the world.

Bianca said...

Ivee!!!! Welcome to the comment club :) WOW!!! Singapore and Sweden?!?!? Holla'. That is SO cool. Yes, hurts and betrayals are part of ministry, but I so excited that we get to meet people along the way that spur us on to do bigger, greater, and grander things!
Thanks for stopping by the blog. I really appreciate your love and support.
Your comment made my day!

Anonymous said...

I love this post! Its refreshing to hear that you still have awkward social moments... me too! And I can't blame it on homeschooling! :) I don't really have a lot of rules to social media. I have found that it is very powerful in connecting with others whom I would never have had the chance to meet otherwise. I have had several conversations with some friends recently about how powerful social media is and how you really can connect and get your voice heard (even if its just 10 people). Anyway, that's just my two cents! lol
Oh... I just thought of a rule for me... I love to connect with people who are making a difference in the world around them!

Steph said...

Social media is interesting.........

Sometimes it makes me nervous, because I think it creates a need for an even HIGHER level of conviction (one's life is now visible to SO many---how can you live above reproach while still being transparent)? Maybe I over think this stuff?! As a PK, though, I really DO get nervous when all the tweens want to add me on this or that, and I'm not even doing anything wrong.

But, you're right, Jesus would make the best of it! He would emanate LOVE through these venues.

And, the ability to touch so many with His love, is one of the best parts of social media!

Jason said...

My biggest rule is if you read a blog that reaches you in some way, comment and encourage the author. It's hard when you pour yourself into a blog day after day and you rarely get feedback from anyone about it. You begin to wonder if it's really worth the time and effort...and a little "thank you" can do so much to encourage someone.

And it takes maybe a minute to do it?

So I rarely read a blog that moves me in some way without leaving a comment. As busy as you are, B, I don't know if that would be possible but it's not a bad rule, IMO.

Anonymous said...

1. Comment (what Jason said).
2. Have no qualms not following people who are spammy salespeople Or deleting comments that are unkind.
3. Limit my social networking time (meaning I have to be more selective in my blog reading).

Tira J said...

Love you, love your blog!

mac said...

Hi Bianca,

everything is allowed, like in the love or in the game, but you are never allowed to do something that hurts somebody else. I think you shouldn't have to do things you don't want that another do this to you...

I hope you write as long as you can...write on... ;-)

greetings from germany,

P.S. As you can see, I (mac) have an own blog now... ;-)

Brianna said...

not sure I agree with you on the whole twitter thing. it actually does start to resemble spam if you just follow a whole bunch of people you don't know who tweet about what they had for breakfast. not to mention, anyone who follows a large amount of people is hardly following anybody. you can't keep up and have a life outside of your computer if so. Personally I think Jesus' twitter acct would be like RevRun and only have followers but not follow anyone.

Bianca said...

@Rebecca: AGREED!

@Steph: Yes, it comes with more transparancy. But it also keeps me from being a hypocrite. Working in the church and for the church is very hard not to become self-righteous. I always jokingly say I'm a closet hypocrite. Ugh, with a blog, you can't hide. Well, at least I can't.

@Jason: I don't know you, but you rock. I agree with your sentiment. I appreciate your time and comments. They are always so insightful and heartfelt. Do you blog?

1. You love bullet-points.
2. Are you German?
3. I need to be selective too. I just don't know how!

@Mac: I read your post today and it was KILLER! Such a good (yet sad) question. PS Go read my comment... Duetschland here I come! Welkommen.

@Brianna Marie Glenn: You are on a commenting roll. Whoa, I can't keep up! :)
Okay, I'll break down my following logic over dinner or something but in short, here's my research:
If I say I love God and I'm not bias towards people, how can I select some and not the others?
Do you know RevRun has a private account? Most mega-tweeters do.
I want to use social media for more than just puffing up my ego. I need to be grounded in knowing who I am, where I'm from, and how I felt as an outsider growing up. KIR

Jason said...

Bianca, I have a blog: http://www.spintheaxis.com

I'd love for you to check it out sometime! :)

Anonymous said...

Bullet points make me HAPPY. :) And I may be a skosh German. What gave it away?

Anonymous said...

Bianca I use anonymous cuz thechnology is not my forte sweety and I am your fan because i love that yuo KIR and simple.. love

Haley Lamb said...

i Love this post!! We have to stop bashing twitter or being afraid of social media and realize the power it has to connect/unify the global church and proclaim the Gospel! Well said...as always, Bianca! ;)

Christa Hann said...

I've tried writing this comment 4 times, and I can't get down what I'm trying to say...

I have a Facebook friend that constantly quotes the Bible, talks about how awesome every church service is/was, talks about her brothers/sisters in Christ, constantly.
And though I admire her faith I wonder if it's true.

Because we are human, we do fail, we do have awkward moments. It's the keeping it real and admitting faults that reassures us we're not alone when we struggle.

K....said it. Kind of rambling but hopefully you get the point :)

Anonymous said...

should totally have read your post before i hit reply on that email.

i hate the terms "followers" and "fans" too. so not my heart for why i even engage in social media.

and you are right -- blogging is dang hard!

mac said...

Hallo Bianca,

Danke fuer Deinen Kommentar. Du bist hier in Deutschland herzlich Willkommen...Ich freue mich.

Now you have to learn a little bit german.... ;-)

M. :-)

Cindy A. said...

I don't think Jesus would spend time tweeting about the latest miracles or blogging parables for the masses. He's just so personable! Although I can see His disciples, followers and apostles updating their FB status with the latest fish buffets and living dead miracles they've seen! Which is what we do tody; we post about how our prayers have been answered, how God gets us through our problems and how He's still changing our lives.

As for rules:
-Keep It Real
-Play Nice
-Keep It PG-13!

DtothaG said...

I don't tweet or comment on FB too much, but when I do I keep it as true as I can and clean. I sometimes will post a scripture but wont overdue it either. I try to respond to everyone if possible. I guess my rules is to keep any posts clean and I look into any friend request from someone I do not know, I honestly will possibly not accept it if I do not know them.

I don't blog cos I am not good at writing out what I feel....it comes easier for to say it than to write it out. That's why I come to your blog B!!!

Lydia said...

I'm so with you on "followers" and "fans"! Too bad we can't personalize our accounts and turn them all to "friends." My personal fb page is just that--more personal. Twitter and the fan page are for anyone who would like to interact with me. I honestly don't follow everyone back automatically because I don't have time to read through thousands of updates every day. I do keep up with everyone who @ writes to me on comments on my site.

Krystle said...

B, Grace just slapped me in the face! Woah! Add on my post-it note for me to hold on to this and let it grow grace in my heart for others.

Firstly, I think that as youth leaders we need to embrace social media and technology. There was one instance where I was able to enter into a relationship with a struggling teenager simply because I found her on a Christian message board and read about her struggles. While I do think that kids are loosing out on social interaction that may be making them socially stupid there are bigger issues that they're going through that they might only be comfortable talking about online. Hate me for it but 60% of my ministry is online. It's convient for everyone.

What are my rules for Facebook?

Firstly, I use facebook as a promotional tool. It is my primary way of gaining clients for my photography business (shameless plug: www.capturedphotography.ca). Therefore, my facebook needs to be actively portraying what I want my clients to know about me. I try to say things that are funny because life is stinkin' hard sometimes and if you only get 10 seconds to yourself while the kids are in bed I want you to hear about something from my day that might make you laugh (like my troubles with the phone company, my mom making meat with onions AND garlic, or how I bought snowshoes in January and it's rained everyday since). If anyone ever sees on my facebook something that you don't think follows either of these two rules (maybe something I think is funny isn't or is offensive) I am giving you the right to call me out on it.

Also, because I'm a youth leader, my friends are littered with teenagers I have councelled and young adults who I am continuing to counsel (gasp* I feel old). I do not put pictures up from partiest where there have been alcohol (my parents host parties often that include alcohol) or anything like that. I want a teenager to have to ask me what my stance is on drinking not see a photo of me around it and assume they know.

Jon Gosselin isn't in the limelight. haha I don't watch much TV but I read people.com once and awhile and I haven't seen him on there in a while!

Suri Cruise: Hello! Her father is Tom Cruise! Have you seen Top Gun? (If you haven't watch it with Matt. He'll love it and you for watching it with him).

Anonymous said...

Loved your blog : ) I have always said I have friends not followers on twitter too! Thanks for your encouraging words and scriptures.
Just became your twitter friend!

Jessica said...

Hi Bianca! I just recently found your post following your sister's blog and I have to say I'M SOO GLAD I FOUND IT!! I love when I find great blogs where I can learn about God in other people's experiences! Thanks so much for sharing!

I like your point of view regarding social networks, I don't tweet and have actually asked a couple of friends who do, why do they tweet anyway? But when I find interesting people like you and your friends I feel like starting an account hahaha

So I will continue to read to what everybody else shares about the rules of social media. And I want to ask you, how do you know what to write? Does it depend on your mood, what you are studying or what? Even though I don't know you personally it's great to think of you as a friend. Reading from Mexicali, Mexico! Thanks for sharing! =D

Stacey said...

I think it's so easy to get caught up in wanting our blogs, facebook pages, and/or twitter accounts to be followed by lots of people. It's easy to translate that into popularity/being liked. I struggle with that. I want people to comment on every picture, every update, every blog post. It's like I want to be famous just for the sake of being famous. I need to redirect this from popularity to giving God glory. Thank you for this...for this check on my own heart.

See, I came out of the lurking closet! :)

thetrippychick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
thetrippychick said...

Bianca- a friend shared your blog with me and I am HOOKED! I appreciate how real & approachable you are. Shouldn't all Christians aim to be like that? Thanks for setting a great example :)

I'm with you on the friends over fans/followers on facebook. I'm a worship leader at a large church, and our worship pastor just established a "fan page" for the worship team and I just refuse to be a fan. If I'm a FANatic about anything, it's my Savior - not the worship team. Also, on my own fb page, I am just my silly self, but I include "today's good word" with an encouraging scripture. I am AMAZED at how God can use His word to reach people who aren't Christians. I am blessed daily by people who write to me and share how much that word spoke to them at the right time. We serve an awesome and amazing God. How amazing is it that He uses little old me and my silly facebook page to reach those who need Him so.

God bless you today!!! Thanks so much for blogging, I know it's hard - but we appreciate it so much!



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