Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Hypersocial World

A pre-conference, BITS, TYTES, BLOGS & BIBLES, was held this morning at the 2010 Ligonier Conference. I mention this because  most all who will read this post are Social Media consumers. I believe some important things were said  this morning. Here are some from my notes.

ED SETZER in "The Brave New World of New Media" mentioned that the population of Facebook is larger than the population of the USA. Social Media, he said, can assist in creating community, but is no substitute for the church; he has concerns that the wrong people are "drive-by posters"--that important things are trivialized--that this is a false community that can't come over to our house (or chat on our front porches with us). Social Media can promote narcissism and pride. It's all about ME. (I'm thinking Twitter and Facebook people need to know what I did, want to do, what I acquired, and what my gripes are?!) He asks, "Would we say these things if people were sitting right next to us?"

TIM CHALLIES spoke eloquently on  "Principles for Conduct in Communication". Tim also expressed concern that Social Media lets people go "beyond Gibraltar" thereby lacking accountability. Quoting Ephesians 4:15 he said speaking, truthing and loving need to be guarded. People who post anonymously often show immaturity. He said we need to be real, visible, slow to speak (write), and to strive for godliness.

BURK PARSONS' presentation was called  "Taking Captive New Media for the Church". He had seven points. 1. Make the best use of our time.  2. Set our minds on heavenly things. (Oh yes, have those times in Scripture and in prayer! I'm thinking do we have more time on Social Media than we spend on heavenly things!) 3. Use media to edify, to stir people up to love and good works. 4. Use media to maintain unity and purity of the church. No gripes. 5. Subdue the earth and and fill it with the knowledge of God. 6. Use media to glorify God. 7. Don't use media for our own kingdom--glorify His kingdom. Ask, "Are you using media to glorify God?"

AL MOHLER spoke on "The Hypersocialized Generation". He talked specifically about the obsession of teens and recommended that parents not allow a cell phone in bedroom at night and no Internet-connected computers in the bedroom at all. Incredible statistics he presented. We can do 7 1/2 hours of Social Media and clock it up to 11 hours--we multitask (e.g. listening to our iPod while texting). 75% of teens have cell phones. One third of teens send and receive more than 100 texts a day.  Boys tend to use Social Media as entertainment and girls tend to not want to miss out on any news and have to keep checking. For teenagers, he says, some think that not being connected is worse than death. What's the cost--the reality of human experience! We are missing two realities he says: 1) silence for prayer and directing our mind; 2) book reading. We fill our soul with distractions. Or we withdraw or over-relate. We feel that people should immediately respond to our postings.  We have lost the ability to empathize by reading facial expressions. He challenged the church to be both connected and faithful. (For me I am trying to make more phone calls and write more letters.)

An excellent panel discussion followed. Everything is now! How about patience and discipline, the panelists asked. Challies menioned the "idolatry" of the immediate. Mohler told us to spend time with books that require long-term investment.

Got to meet TIM CHALLIES himself at the end of the morning. He graciously stepped off the platform and met my husband and myself. During the break I laughed when, for the first time ever that I have noticed, there was a line to the mens room but not to the ladies room.

For viewing the conference go to:


  1. very cool! thanks for the summary and glad you were able to attend.

  2. Nice summary of this conference. I am looking for information on your identity. Where is your name on this blog?

  3. Maestro, thanks for visiting the blog and for your kind comments on the summary. There is a clue under Resources here--my book. This blog started out with three people and basically I am maintaining it now. I wanted a view on eschatology, decided, and am moving on to other issues of theology and Christian practice. I edited the above post to put a link so you can listen and view all of that conference.

  4. Carol you have a great blog and enjoyed reading the comments you quoted about using social media.
    They were dead on right about the use of social media. Sometimes I get caught up into discussions I no business getting involved in.

    What music do you enjoy?


  5. Thanks for stopping by. I enjoy quite a variety of music, but when I take a walk or drive in the car I listen to sermons, news and other items on my iPod. I have been listening to the Daily Audio Bible for three years now--going through the Bible each year.


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