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On to tweet or not to tweet?

A couple of bloggers who I visit regularly have been posting recently about Twitter etiquette, particularly with regard to sermon tweeting.

[Tim Challies posted this article: Don’t Tweet That Sermon! & Andrew Evans wrote this in response: How to Tweet a Sermon.]

Do go and read them both, since they both have quite wise things to say, whereas my comments, like the majority of my daily blogging, will be random, rambling thoughts.

I’ve spoken about Twitter here before of course, and I must say that I still find this particular social network rather mysterious. I have it, and I like it, but I find it tough to explain exactly what the appeal is.

The North East team of UCCF is slowly but steadily finding a place in the Twitterverse: currently we have 4 out of 7 staff tweeting, and 3 out of 8 Relays, and after a few of us spent a wee while persuading Paul during last team days, we may soon be able to add another staff member to our ranks.

Back in February, at ‘Forum: North East’, the training weekend for all of the new CU Execs in our region, I led a seminar entitled ‘Social Networking for Jesus’, and the two aforementioned bloggers got me back thinking about it all again.

One of things that we talked about in the seminar was the idea of neutrality in technology. Are social networks (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and all the rest) bad, or good, or morally-passive? Ultimately I think it has to come down to how we use them.

Take Twitter for example. I think the major issue for me is how much time I devote to it: I can tweet once a week, once a day, or once an hour; I can follow 10 people, or 100, or 1000. I’d guess my usage is probably medium – some times I use it a lot, other times I can go a month without it.

I think my concern with Tweeting, particularly in regard to what was being said about tweets and sermons, is that whilst Twitter is a social network, it has the capacity to be very, very un-sociable. It’s very easy for me to sit for hours networking with people ‘out there’ whilst sitting in roomful of real, flesh and blood people and ignoring them, as I craft a perfectly witty and interesting comment on life and the universe (in 140 characters and under). My danger, if I am tempted to tweet my way through a sermon or conference, is that I will spend all of my time thinking about what I tweet, how it comes across, whether anyone will retweet it, or whether those 140 characters will mark me out as one of the great minds of our time, and a great deal less time actually listening to the sermon, or engaging with the people who sit on either side of me.

So, for now at least, that means no sermon-tweeting for @Ellidh. But how about you? Are you on Twitter? How do you use it?

In summary: social media skills.

This entry was published on May 1, 2012 at 8:10 pm. It’s filed under Randomness and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “On to tweet or not to tweet?

  1. fiona lynne on said:

    I surprised myself by liking twitter more than facebook, after taking so long to join. I don’t tweet so much myself compared with some people, but I love that it feels more USEFUL. I follow people who tweet interesting and helpful articles on the topics I am interested in (weddings, events, starting a business, faith things) and have found lots that then got bookmarked and used.
    I fully agree with you that social media can be a time-suck and I’m careful (I think) to make sure I am still in the real world. It’s dangerous since I work from home so could very easily get sucked in to it all!
    I also have a “no smart phone on the table” rule when I’m with friends or at meetings. If it’s important, someone will call me. It’s so rude to be talking to someone and have them checking messages and updates every few minutes…

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