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Sunday, February 27, 2011


"One of life's greatest challenges will always be
in knowing which voice has a right to our time."
~ Susan Lenzkes

As much as I appreciate them both, I spend just enough time visiting Facebook and Twitter to not be a stranger.

Facebook has been a tremendous blessing, allowing me keep up with my large, faraway family, whom I deeply miss. I'm also grateful to stay in touch with people at our moderately large church. I think of Facebook as a semi-private locale, like talking with friends in a restaurant.

I've been declining friend requests from people I don't know at all, who are "friends" of "friends" in publishing circles. But what I really need to do is maintain a separate Facebook page for my professional life, where a different type of communication takes place. The thought of maintaining two Facebook pages does not appeal, but I've come to terms with the fact that publishing has entered an era where an author is no longer permitted the luxury of seclusion, even the quasi-privacy of Facebook.

What an experience Twitter is! I appreciate the wealth of information exchanged, though I rarely have the time to indulge in conversation. My Twitter posts are exchanging hello's and thanks, promoting blog posts of myself and others, and most especially sharing quotes. While some people may think me unoriginal, a 140-character snippet can clearly and concisely share a compelling perspective with the potential to change the way we approach life.

Twitter is the epitome of an etiquette challenge, where surely even Emily Post would throw up her arms in resignation. I don't care for the game of "I'll follow you, you follow me back, and we both get to pump our egos by watching our followers numbers increase without ever actually paying attention to one another."

Some Twitterers follow just long enough for you to follow back as a courtesy, then delete you to enhance only their own numbers. I've started waiting a week to follow back, unless it's someone I know. About two thirds of the people who follow me have un-followed by the end of that week, which implies that they are more about inflating numbers than interested in what I have to say.

The other third? If they're not inappropriate or obvious spam, I usually follow back and send a personalized DM to make contact. I'm ready to engage them, however much communication we actually accomplish.

However naive or unrealistic I might be, I'd like to try and emulate my Lord Jesus on even social media. He had wider circles and inner circles of associations. He distinguishes between those who simply wish to be numbered as followers and those ready to listen to Him. And in each contact, His desire is to express love and glorify the Father.

Care to share your approach to the mixed blessing of social media?

Comments, questions, and respectful disagreement are welcome. Reply to comments, or e-mail buildingHisbody [plus]
Copyright 2011, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.


  1. I prefer Twitter to Facebook and both to blogging! Although I appreciate all three because they have brought me to know wonderful people such as yourself. =)

  2. Tana ~

    I can still remember as recently as 1999, when I'd meet a Christian and get all excited that I was encountering another member of my eternal family. Now, there's thousands of them crossing my path. Maybe I'm weird, but it makes me happy to think that there's not a single Christian I'm ever really separated from. Even when my father-in-law was in his last hours of life, and I had to leave, I simply gave him a kiss and said, "See you soon!"

    I love knowing that you and I meeting isn't an if but a when. :D ♥ :D ♥ :D

  3. "I'd like to try and emulate my Lord Jesus on even social media."...this is my goal also. I do Fb, most mostly to stay connected with friends/family. I link Twitter to my blog, but don't connect beyond that.

    Most activity is on my blog and I found tremendous freedom in posting a "Follower Free" link which keeps me from obsessing about stats, and I have no idea who "subscribes".

    Thank you for reminding us to stay focused on our LORD.

  4. The whole "friend" thing sets my jaw a little. Can you really be a friend without gettting to know me first? It really cheapens the word.

  5. Connie ~

    How I understand your perspective! I've often wresttled with both the idea and the word "followers" on my blog. First and foremost, I don't want people following me, but rather reading this blog as a support of their following Jesus. I'm also aware that just because someone adds my blog to either RSS feed or email subscription means they read any or all of the posts. The fluctuating numbers used to bother me, but how closely I monitor all the blogs I subscribe to also fluctuates, so I've stopped worrying about that. (I have occasionally deleted subscriptions to help clear my RSS feed, though most inactive subscriptions I just route to a different folder, to avoid giving someone else that sinking feeling of a lost follower.)

    All that said, I've left the "followers" tool here, moving it to the bottom of the page. Blogging is a huge commitment and challenge for me to maintain, and I like to be reminded to pray for the people who may be reading, both for their blessing and as an encouragement to keep writing. Their faces are a true inspiration to me.

  6. David ~

    I can probably live with the word "friend" more easily than the word "follower," though not until just this moment did I think of what it might mean to have an author page on Facebook of which people become "fans." (I suppose ALL those 'f' words are better than "foe" or "fiend" or "follower" as in "stalker.") All the same, the blessing of social media was so emphatically reinforced for me yesterday (entirely by coincidence—tomorrow's post), that I simply have to focus on its pros rather than its cons.

  7. PS to David ~

    I wonder to what extent the explosion of social media has cheapened words as a whole. I suppose it gives us that much more of a mandate to weigh each one.


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