There’s no such thing as a ‘social media expert.’
How do I know that? I heard a social media expert say it, and I, as a social media expert-in-training, agreed.
I know that’s confusing, so let me lay it out a bit more clearly. Social media is a brand new medium, forum, technology, and landscape all-in-one. It’s virgin soil, an unknown quantity, an untapped resource, and a leaderless populace. No one truly knows what he or she is doing; we’re all just experimenting. As soon as we establish something resembling rules or best practices, the social media landlords (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) alter our social media reality, making all of our agreed upon rules null and void. Or, worse, those of us who pretend to have some influence over the wave of social media we’re surfing on may one day find that our social networks have begun to evolve independently of us, and we may crash into the shore.
In a very real way, the concept of social media expertise is much akin to flying a kite in a lightning storm. Ben Franklin might have “discovered” lightning with a kite and a key, but that doesn’t mean that he had any idea of what to do with his discovery. This is where most of us are with social media: we’ve got lightning in a bottle and are desperately searching for a way to make something of it.
We will figure it out. Eventually. Until then, social media will remain a fun and also a troubling place to spend our time, so let’s be as wise as possible about how we use.
And how it uses us.
This book is aimed at answering the questions of social media’s purpose, proper use, and the possibility for redemption. In fact, I wrote this book based on a class I taught at my church. I decided to teach the class after observing so much negative, unChristian, and flat out uncivilized behavior on social media. I plan on re-teaching this course every year or two because I have now realized social media is just as valid and important area of our lives as anything else, so if we’re going to offer support for marriages for parenting, for budgeting, we’re going to also have to address social media.
That’s what’s at the core of this book: a pastor’s desire to educate, edify, inspire, and, yes, rebuke, where needed. This isn’t a strategy guide or a social media walkthrough. It’s a jump into the deeper (or at less not quite shallow) waters of theological and philosophy as they connect to our overly connected world of social media.
So, if you want to increase your reach by 10,000 followers, don’t buy this book. If you want to learn and teach other Christians to think more deeply about how they engage with social media, then maybe you should buy this book.
For $10 you can purchase a copy of The Social Christian: A Theological Exploration of Social Media for personal use. If you’d like to use this book as the basis for a class or small group, you can purchase a church license for $30.
Whether you purchase the individual license, the church license, or don’t buy anything at all, ChurchMag and Cornerstone Church, where I am a minister, would like to offer you the audio recordings of my class at no charge. Why would we do this? Because we want to see social media become civilized, safe, and filled with the light of Christ.