How Would Jesus Use Social Media?
Have you ever wondered that? If Jesus had had a page on Facebook (I Am Who I Am), a Twitter account (@sonofman), a blog (Word of God) and an iPad (with 3G as well as WiFi) how would He have used them?
In other words, when it comes to networking, social media and all that stuff, #wwjd?
I remember when Facebook just started happening, watching – with a mix of suspicion, concern and pathological social fascination –
my then teenaged daughter become hooked.
I asked her one day – What’s the point of Facebook? (Gen Y I ain’t!)
Her answer was as straightforward as it was surprising – To get as many friends as possible.
Would that have been Jesus’ aim?
He wasn’t one for spin, for popularity, for networking or for position. In fact, you’d have to say that He needed a good PR agent, because when He spoke some too-difficult-to-hear truths to his followers …
… because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. (John 6:66)
And yet you can’t help but think that the social networks of the internet age are the dusty roads of the Promised Land that Jesus wandered up and down in the 1st Century. You can’t help but think to yourself, that He would have been out there where the people were (because He was!) and these days, many of them are in that thing we call the online social network space.
Throughout my years in business, I’ve met many a person who was into “networking” – in those days you did lunch and schmoozed people at cocktail parties, and all that rather old-fashioned stuff. It was all about increasing your circle of influence – about how many people you could get into your Outlook address book.
So it seems that the intent hasn’t changed, just the technology and the social context.
Let me tell you about one of my favourite bloggers and Tweeters – Phil Cooke. I follow him not only because he’s sharp, has a great sense of humour and sense of timing; not only because he stimulates my thinking and helps me lift my gaze – but because he’s really good at social media.
The psychologists would call him an ideal type – he’s a #socialmedia role model (which is why he’s on my blogroll).
Here’s what he does:
- He injects a bit of humour and personality into his material (not too much)
- He challenges me by opening up new ideas; new worlds of thought and experience to me
- He reaches into the vernacular culture – the stuff happening right now – as naturally as you and I pour milk on our corn flakes
- He exposes me routinely to other people’s “stuff” – in effect opening them up to me, and vice versa
And that’s why Phil is so popular – he’s doing me and many others a service, and so he’s grown a large following.
Seems to me there are two models for engaging through social media. The first is the old I am the greatest model.
The other … the other is the Jesus model.
The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted. (Matt 23:11,12)
I’d love to know what you think …