This is write-up of a talk given by minor PR deity and full-time Ed Miliband impersonator
James Poulter on the subject of social communications and the church. To listen to it in full – go here.
Sociality and Community
The concept of sociality forms the bedrock of what people are doing in Social Media and simply refers to our propensity to develop social links and foster community.
There has been a social explosion online in the last five years which has seen more and more people engage in micro-streaming, blogging, geo-location tagging, MMORPGs, forums etc etc
- 50% world’s population is under 30 of which 96% use an online social platform
- Social has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the internet
- 1/8 couples in the US met through social platforms
Consequently, there has been a dramatic change in what this means for us as individuals and communities. Primarily this has come about as result of our culture of sharing. Furthermore, the context of what we share has changed due to substance, speed and search.
Substance – we have shortened what we share. No longer are large indigestible pieces of content favourable but instead shorter status updates and tweets. Sharing the minutiae of our lives is ok.
Speed – Mobile has provided us with instant access to these social platforms. Most people under-30 are never further than 4ft away from their mobile at any one time.
Search – Not only can we share, but we can also find. We can recall conversations. Word-of-mouth can now be cataloged and documented making it easier to share. We no longer have to arrive at an institution and hope to find other like-minds, we can now search for our own communities and subject matters that can bind us together.
He comprises of three persons; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. They are separate, distinct, equal, co-existent and co-eternal. They are three different persons, but not three different ways of looking at God or three gods. God is one in essence (in case this is doing a madness to your cerebrum check out this really good explanation of the Trinity). These three persons are bound up in love, for God is love (1 John 4:8). God constantly loves the Son, the Son loves the Father and the Holy Spirit is loved by the Son and the Father etc. More importantly, we are invited to join this community of love.
A ‘person’ can only be understood in relation to other persons. God the Father is who He is because of his relationship with The Son, the Holy Spirit is who He is because of his relationship with the Father and the Son and so forth. As God’s creations, we are meant to be a reflection of our Maker hence we find it so hard live as individuals. Rather we are persons who can only be understood in the light of other persons.
The Recommendation Economy or ‘We Are What We Share’
(This refers to a theory entirely devised by James that is currently getting a lot of positive response in the New Media industry. For a more comprehensive look, go here)
In the consumerist days of yore, we defined ourselves by our purchases. The clothes we wore, the car we drove all said something about us as a person. However, as more of our physical assets are becoming digital, we no longer define ourselves by what we buy or own, but what we like, share and spread on social networks. That is to say, no longer am I the car I bought but rather the music I shared on Spotify or what cause I ‘like’-ed on Facebook.
As Christians then, we should see sociality and social media as nothing new. It is a return to the Trinity being lived out in daily lives and something that is entirely reflective of God. Unsurprisingly then, if God is not at the centre of our communities, they are destined to be diminished ones and it is this that we are to show to the culture at large. In this Recommendation Economy, we are what we share. Therefore: share Christ 🙂