Theological and Ethical Implications of Social Media
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Theological and Ethical Implications of Social Media

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Produced for the 2010 Spring Conference of the Massachusetts Bay District. The video to accompany this slideshow is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M47VrI3KWa4

Produced for the 2010 Spring Conference of the Massachusetts Bay District. The video to accompany this slideshow is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M47VrI3KWa4

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Theological and Ethical Implications of Social Media Theological and Ethical Implications of Social Media Presentation Transcript

  • Theological and Ethical Implications of Social Media Mini-Keynote III by Shelby Meyerhoff for Massachusetts Bay District Spring Conference May 1, 2010
  • Questions
    • How can we make an online community as safe as possible?
    • How can individuals (esp. religious professionals) use social media in a way that improves relationships (rather than harming)?
    • How can we be inclusive online?
    • How do we use social media in a way that is spiritually nourishing?
  • How can we make an online community as safe as possible?
  • Administrative access and security
    • Shared administrative access to the congregation’s social media presence.
    • Congregation’s social media presence belongs to the congregation as a whole.
    • Secure (non-guessable) passwords.
    • Back up content.
  • Identification
    • Identification of community members may be safer than anonymity.
  • Confidentiality
    • Treat social media as a completely public space.
    • Don’t count on 100% security even for “private” groups.
    • Ok to react to disclosure of concerning personal information by others.
  • Clear expectations for online community
    • Covenant or social media policy for content posted on social media  build on best “real world” practices, congregational covenant.
    • Content moderation policies.
    • Enforce policies!
    • Model through personal engagement.
  • Sample content moderation policy
    • [Congregation name] has the right to delete any inappropriate content from this page, including but not limited to: irrelevant content, hateful content, attacks against an individual, financial solicitations, endorsements of a political candidate or party, and content that violates Facebook’s terms of use, code of conduct, or other policies. Content that violates Facebook’s policies may also be reported.
  • How can individuals use social media to improve relationships?
  • Relationship Building
    • Your best self.
    • Consistent and clear policies to “friending.”
    • “ Real world” ethical principles still apply.
    • Some conversations need to happen face-to-face.
    • Knowledge (about privacy settings) is power.
  • The Ten Commandments of Social Networking by Erik Resly
    • 1. Thou shalt not post personal information, opinions or media that compromise your ministerial integrity or the wellbeing of others.
    • 2. Thou shalt not speak pejoratively of, or mention conflicts with, family members, friends or congregants.
    • 3. Thou shalt not use language inappropriate for fellowship hour.
    • 4. Thou shalt not disclose intimate information that would make readers feel uncomfortable.
    • 5. Thou shalt not substitute electronic communication for face-to-face interaction.
    • 6. Thou shalt exercise discretion and maintain professional boundaries.
    • 7. Thou shalt uphold offline confidentiality practices.
    • 8. Thou shalt regularly update and maintain your online presence.
    • 9. Thou shalt be honest and authentic without over-sharing.
    • 10. Thou shalt enjoy the benefits and playfulness of social networking.
  • How do we make our online community inclusive?
  • Welcoming participants
    • Promote the congregation’s social media presence in other congregational materials
    • Don’t make assumptions about who can and can’t use social media
    • Offer to orient congregants unfamiliar with social media
  • How do we use social media in a way that is spiritually nourishing?
  • Process Social media engagement Evaluation of social media experience Development of and commitment to mission/purpose
    • “ I started the blog when I started a sabbatical as a way to keep in touch with the congregation. I’ve come to feel it is an important part of my ministry.” – James Ford
    • http://monkeymindonline.blogspot.com/
    • Our thoughts, insights, and musings may open doors for other Unitarian Universalists to know that our denomination is open enough to hold our spiritual selves. I personally write because it helps me make sense of this crazy life we all lead. It seems that what I write helps others make sense too.” – Tina Simson http://www.uuwellspring.org/
  • Credits
    • Icons in this presentation come from:
      • http://www.blog.spoongraphics.co.uk
      • http://www.smashingmagazine.com