Faith and Facebook
Back on November 1, 2011 I posted excerpts from an article I'd written for the journal Reflections about how new technologies are impacting the life of faith—not technically, like when pastors use Powerpoint to back up their sermons or start web logs (blogs), but at a more fundamental level in how we think of ourselves, about community, and about God. I got in a little trouble for that article, meaning that it somehow caught some interest. Coming out of all of that, this last year I was invited to push my thinking a little bit by writing a prompting essay for the summer, 2013 issue of Columbia Seminary's online journal, @thispoint: theological investigations in church and culture. They have an interesting approach, with a lead article to which they invite three people to respond, then a response to the responses from the author of the lead article, then some adult education curriculum ideas and space for readers to respond to the whole thing online.
They asked me to write on "Faith and Facebook." I decided to write about how I think social media are profoundly transforming how our youth (our "digital natives") experience three things: boundaries between "public" and "private," their experience of relationship, and their sense of transcendence. All that all kinda goes without saying, except that I tried to say that most people who write about these things do so from the perspective of people who remember life without social media. I sense that the impact of social media is profoundly different among those who don't remember life without them. And I think it's really important to think about this theologically. Social media are more revolutionary than we sometimes think. They will change our culture in ways we are only beginning to see.
I also tell a couple of stories.
Here's a link. I invite your own response.