Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Disposable Social Media

I write this post after a lengthy period of relative Interweb silence. Those of you who know me know that I am persistent like a tick normally, but life has been somewhat busy.

This has created another foray into a circumstance that troubles me, and that is the disposability of social media.  In my own life, I have a family, wife and kids, I have a ministry in public office, I have friends and I have the part of my life that is ameliorated by social meejah. I have fast become of the opinion that life is like a large bottle filled with semi-inflated balloon - that when one gets bigger the others become squeezed. 

I truly value those whom I call friends in the world of mine that is bound up in Twitter, Facebook or on this silly blog. I have been drawn to them (and I suppose them to me) for precisely the same reasons that I have been drawn to any of my friends - which is to say a commonality of interest, circumstance or perspective. I enjoy their company, and gain from their presence (and if you are reading this, I include you in that). 

Recently, the ministry balloon has taken much of the space and I will not let the family balloon be adversely squeezed. That leaves my friends, and especially my SocMed friends, whom I then neglect. 

Because my friends are the kindly sort of people that they are, they will call with one voice that it doesn't matter, that they will be there when I find time. I love them for that, but it doesn't help in many ways. Among its many good qualities, one of the poor qualities of social media is is disposability. Put another, I can simply switch it off. I am not one of those who will dabble with Twitter while I am sat with my family, and I try hard not to write blog posts while my kids are in the house. Obviously I cannot do those things while I am exercising the jobs of my ministry, and ministers who Tweet in church are not favoured by me (some things really should be sacred and of the space and place). 

It makes me sad in many ways. I regard friendships as robust and important and worthy of all the requisite effort - except that ones built on SM become like the proverbial Bic biro. There has to be a pecking order in the life of anyone, and as a man with many calls on my time (dad, husband, priest, padre, PCC chair, brother, son, uncle, yada yada yada), there have to be priorities.  Because social media is mitigated by an 'on' button that be turned 'off', it becomes, sadly, the inevitable loser.

If you are one I have neglected of late, I am sorry. 

And enjoy Metallica - they are very loud!


  1. I guess it is difficult to tweet when wearing a chasuble and alb :)
    Maybe you could have a phone pocket sown in.

  2. Only took me four goes to find a version of the song that was acceptable! Sigh

  3. Yes, even at half volume they are loud.
    Miserable message too.
    You may keep my share of this one.

  4. There are ministers who tweet in church, really? Can't quite get my head round that.
    I miss your blog when it doesn't pop up regularly and like your real friends will still be here when you switch back on :-)

  5. I think that time out is quite important. And to be honest, I only blog when I have something to say, not as often as some, not as little as others.

    SM is a communications tool, and I enjoy using it. And occasionally, meeting some of those cyber friends for real, as I did last Sunday at @RevLesley's induction into her role her benefice. Another benefit was that several other cyber companions were there also.

    And meeting someone face to face, always humanizes the relationship, which though real through SM, remains a cyber relationship.

    I will always be delighted to read your blog and tweets when I receive them, but I don't expect a stream of them all of the time. 'Less is more' perhaps.

  6. Like Eeyore, I am totally out of sorts when you go MIA because there's no alternate & ready supply of new words & terminologies. Words like "ameliorated" or terms like "persistent like a tick" are hard to find anywhere else. Alas, I am relieved the balloon allowed for this post.

    Apart from my own very selfish need to collect a grin & witty words, I applaud your "family first" priority.

  7. Thank you for your comments, or indeed for persisting with a 1980s heavy metal track of the order 'obnoxious'.

    And don't ask me where the linguistics come from - I am often as surprised as you when I look back on what I written!

  8. Like you I value the relationships I have formed via twitter and blogging. But if anything gives in my life, it's the SocMed.

    I have concluded that either people won't mind, in which case they'll be there when I come back, or they will, in which case they won't be friends. Harsh, but realistic. I just hope those who stick with me realise they are valued - so the least I can do is stick with other people who deal with time pressures too!

    BTW when I started playing the (great) track, Google kicked up an ad for Kat1e P3rry. Ho hum!

  9. I forgive you David! That is all!

  10. Yes. But we do this with real life friends and interests as well.



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