Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Social Media and the Church Part 2

Not Your Teens Facebook Anymore-

Some of you know that in the beginning, the only users that could actually access Facebook were students. You had to have the .edu at the end of your email address or you could not sign up.  It started with college students, then high school students and so forth.

Then a few years ago Facebook opened up to the world and many Gen Xers and Gen Yers not in college jumped on.  It was fun to connect with my camp counselors and the youth in our church.  A bunch of my high school, college and seminary friends were immediately on and quickly found each other.  Users jumped from several million to the hundreds of millions.  Everyone was talking about Facebook.  And it was still cool.

Then the high school and college students started to notice a disturbing trend- their parents were joining Facebook, and now their grandparents.  And for most teens this was no big deal.  They didn't have anything to hide and were not posting anything too offensive.  But for the others, the statements came like "Facebook was cool until my mom got on it", or "there are too many old people (me included- I guess I'm old) on Facebook".  Some some of the  younger generations ditched Facebook (not completely) and moved to Twitter.  The only reason I'm on Twitter now is because some of our  youth said I "needed" to be on Twitter if I was going to connect with the next generation.
And the other outlets are instagram, the path and tons of other places I have no connection to but I hear are the next great thing in social media.

Facebook is still hugely popular with new users every day.  It may not be as cool as it once was, but it is still an amazing place to connect, share and build relationships.  It's virtual yes, but there is a whole world out there of social media that is helping build brands, churches, messages, ideas and to some extent, helping change the world.

We might not be able to reach the next generation like we once could through Facebook, but with 700 million active users in a world of 7 billion, that is a lot of people, especially in the US, that are on Facebook.

Go in peace and go with God.

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