Monday, June 08, 2009

Why I Tweet

And what is tweeting anyway? Tweeting is both what a bird does (some of them also hoot and make other calls, but that's really not what this post is about. This post is about the rise of social media (like this blog), facebook, and of course twitter in the way people communicate, share ideas and the like.

This past weekend, I had two people point out this BRILLIANT John Piper article about why and how he is using social media. I highly recommend reading it, and more than that, I recommend considering how God may want to uniquely use the mundane activities of your life to bring Him glory and inspire His worship. In the article, Piper says that He believes that because God intends to use all things for His glory, that things as seemingly trivial as twitter are not an exception.

I would have to agree. When I first signed up for twitter in May of 2008, I thought, "this is it?", "this is what all of the hype is about?" I really don't see the point. Over the last year though, as I've experimented with the media more and more, I'm seeing it's benefits. I've seen a number of people, organizations, and even news channels begin to use the media. I've seen a mix of self-promoting entrepreneurs, and straight-up garbage mixing in with the world of twitter and other social media as well.

While it would be easy to write off such disembodied pursuits like twitter and facebook as a waste of time, I tend to disagree. As I write this, I think about all of the different things that people twitter about. While these social media forms are no substitute for face time with real people, there are some pretty amazing things that I'm becoming attuned to through twitter.

For instance, because I follow International Justice Mission's twitter, I was able to discover that they had a partnership with a coffee company that gave 100% of their coffee sales revenue to IJM for the month of May. That's pretty phenomenal. Also, because of these media (as I have blogged before), many friends were able to send words of encouragement and support when my dad suffered a heart attack.

There can be a tendency to shy away from new media because of the potential negative effects it might have. That happened with radio and with television in the past. And there is definitely a fair portion of garbage on the web as well as television and radio. But if and when you and I blog, or twitter, or facebook, or whatever the next thing is, we have an opportunity. We have an opportunity to be a message of hope or to point people to good things that are happening in this world. We can tell people about God, we can encourage folks to smile for a moment, or we can even bear one another's burdens in new ways.

I tweet for all of these reasons and more. Part of it for me is an opportunity to encourage others toward good things that I discover while sailing the waters of Spirit and Life. Part of it is to share new insights about life, and maybe an adventure every now and then. Part of it is to stay connected in ways and with people that I now live far from but who I care about very much.

But, my hope is all of it helps people grow in their joy, their peace, their patience, their love, and so much more.

And as you read these words today, I hope you will consider how you use not just 'social media' but all of your resources for the glory of the Creator of the Universe. For from Him, through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen.

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