So what do we make of social networking, especially those of us who are followers of Jesus? Let’s first look at the benefits of social networking:
- Reconnection. Social networking hubs such as Facebook and MySpace have allowed people to reconnect with others. Social networking sites have made it possible for people who have been separated by geography and time to catch up and reconnect.
- Collaboration. People use all forms of social networking to collaborate creatively on projects. Authors post early drafts on blogs for feedback from their readers. People from different sides of the globe can now collaborate and solve problems. Author Thomas Friedman was right: the world is flat.
- Cooperation. I’ve seen Christians use social networking to request prayer about situations. Whereas, ten years ago, a few people from one area would pray, now many people in many churches in many places can pray.
- Entrepreneurship. Social media has allowed businesses another avenue to get the word out about their businesses and products. It’s also allowed churches to get the word out about events and community-strengthening projects.
- Mental processing. I use my blog to process things that roll around in my head, as do many other bloggers. Good blogs allow others to process as well through the comment sections (this is also true for Facebook and Twitter).
As beneficial as social networking is, there’s also a dark side. More on that tomorrow.
How has social networking benefited you?