First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com

Love it or hate it.

February 26, 2016

    Living black and white in a gray world is tough. Take for instance the wonder of the internet, specifically social media. The love/hate relationship one has with this media is affected by the content. I will focus solely on Facebook (FB). Powerful resources like social media have the ability to help or disable. To categorically say all social media is bad and dismiss it without review would be hasty. To say it is all good would be a misjudgment. 

Here is a short list of things that annoy me about FB:

* any game invitation

* any kind of ranting and raving about about anything

* crass profanity and nauseous memes

* out of control debates about any of the hot-button issues in our society

* the impersonal conversation and attacks against others

 

Conversely, here are things I like and embrace about FB:

* inspiring people and their stories and quotes

* useful information offered as a public service

* connection to businesses and organizations

* following former classmates and distant family members

* the ability to promote a message or request

 

    Just yesterday, I placed a plea on FB for our local children's outreach center (Lumina). At the board meeting, it was discussed at length of the absence of a snowblower at the facility. Budget constraints would not allow for purchase of a much needed machine to accomplish the work of snow removal. Shoveling these sidewalks and entrance ways would continue to be done by 'retired' board members.

    Enter the wonder of the internet, specifically the social media platform. Assembling an advertisement of sorts, I grabbed a 'snowblower' image from Google and wrote the text.  I posted the plea and shared it among my contacts.  The post was seen by a few folks who considered the request to be legitimate and they shared the post.  Within 2 hours the post had been viewed by over 150 people. On my best day I could not contact that many people by phone, in person, or via email. Impossible!

    Back to the advertisement. After two more hours, I received an email from the director of Lumina that a donor called and offered to buy the snowblower outright! I will continue to use FB as a tool to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ and for the betterment of our commmunity and the world.  How about you, will you set aside all that is wrong with this social media and begin to use it as another tool in our toolbox for transforming a broken and complex world? I hope so.

               PS: As of this morning that one post has reached 292 people!

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