I recorded my first youtube video last night! I’m super excited about this new adventure I’m taking into recording myself and posting my videos to youtube. While I thuroughly enjoy blogging and writing in general, I realize that there are many among us who need a face to face, voice to voice connection.
While I consider myself “low tech” when it comes to the latest gadgets and operating systems, I am no stranger to the new age of social media. Before there was a facebook or a twitter, there were chat rooms and I immediately took a liking to the phenomenon of being able to hold full fledged conversations with people via the Internet.
Needless to say I have enjoyed several relationships throughout the years with people from all walks of life that all began online and yes, I’ve even dated a man or two who I met on the Internet. My Internet dating days are essentially over but my love of social media and how far it’s come since the olden days of instant messengers and chatrooms is still going strong.
One reason I love social media so much is that I am able to connect with some of the most amazing human beings God ever made with ease. Sometimes I wonder what the saints of the bible would have done had they been able to communicate as easily as we do. I literally have friends all over the world now! Had you told me 10 years ago that some of the closest and dearest people to my heart would live in South Africa, I would have looked at you funny. But that is the joy of social media.
But not only does it allow people to connect internationally, let’s not forget the bridges that are built nationally and regionally. I have many dear friends whom I have never met in person but we’ve been in each others’ lives going on 6 years because of social media. I’ve been able to connect with new moms, seasoned moms and grandmoms all through social media.
I know there are some folks who are still leery of the Internet and social sites. I will say that parents should closely monitor their children and teens Internet usage without a doubt. It is possible to form deep, emotional connections with people you’ve never met and if done with the wrong people, this can be harmful. Personally, I don’t think children under the age of 15 have any business on social sites but that’s just my personal opinion. Social media is time consuming. There is a such thing as cyber bullying and all manner of foolishness that can harm and distract children. At this age, children should be happy, healthy and focused on their school work. With that said, my children will NOT have facebook or twitter accounts until they are much, much older. While I don’t plan on being an overly strict parent, I certainly intend to be an involved and fully engaged one. It’s my job to watch the gate and that’s what I’m going to do.So no, my children will not be on the Internet for more than research purposes.
A great benefit of social media to mothers is the ability to share information, wisdom and advice with other moms from all over the world. I’ve picked up new recipes, learned how to soothe a baby, remove a stain and all sorts of goodies just from social media and the Internet. It is my belief that women were created by God to be an answer in this Earth so it stands to reason that within each of us lies pearls of wisdom that can bless so many lives. I learned how to braid my daughter’s hair after YEARS of not knowing how to cornrow just by watching another mom on youtube braid her daughter’s hair. How cool is that?! YEARS people. I went YEARS not knowing how to do it because for years, there was no one around me who could take the time to show me how it’s done. But thanks to youtube, I could start, stop, and rewind her tutorials until I figured out what I needed to do. I’m still perfecting my braiding technique but baby girl is presentable! lol!
I’ve even been blessed to counsel and be counseled via social media. Who doesn’t have questions or deal with issues that seem way over their heads? I can’t tell you how many times someone had encouraged me or given me a key piece of advice that helped me to advance to the next level. My spiritual father lives thousands of miles away but with just one click of my mouse, I can connect with him via facebook chat and receive encouragement and insight into God’s Word. Amazing!
If your church hasn’t established its mark in social media, they are woefully behind! I know there are those who say, “well, I prefer face to face contact and I don’t get into all that Internet stuff”. I enjoy face to face communication also. However, the world we live in is changing. The majority of young people in just my nation of the United States alone have a social media presence. I don’t understand how children can have facebook pages but parents don’t even know how to log onto a computer. REALLY?! Not only that, but we want our churches and ministries to grow but we don’t have any social media presence whatsoever. I can’t tell you how many churches I’ve decided not to go to simply because they didn’t stream their services live via Ustream or Streaming Faith or they didn’t have a website, facebook or twitter page. To me it showed a contempt and lack of respect for the people they desired to reach out to . How can you say you desire to connect with the community when you’re waiting for people to get in their cars and find your building? People who don’t own cars have Internet access! People who can’t get a ride to church can log on and view your services. People who live in California can sow a seed into your ministry online via PayPal and other online transaction services. It’s not about packing pews anymore. It’s about reaching the WORLD! People who you can’t see and may never see in person can connect to your life and ministry via the internet if you’re wise enough to tap into the field of harvest.
So yea, I’m a social media mommy. I find that being connected in this way gives me such a vast resource of information and also helps me to connect with people who I’d otherwise never get to see due to our geographical locations. My life is the better for having all of these connections and voices of insight in it and I’m taking my life to the next level!