I’m Craig Gilman – member of B1 church and I work for the Church of England as the first Digital Youth AdviserBeen interested in technology since I first had a sinclair spectrum 16k – and upgraded it to 48k and a proper keyboard! Built PCs since my first one when I was a teenager First used the internet as a student in its very early days – on the mosaic browserI’m involved in several online communities and I probably have a profile on pretty much every social network – Facebook, Myspace, Livejournal, Bebo, VampireFreaks – the Russian version of facebook, LinkedIn, ecademy – and loads more. Obviously I can’t keep on top of most of them – so have defaulted to facebook.Started an online presence to link up Christian Goth groups – which now has real life meetings and affiiate groups meeting in Australia, Sweden, South Africa, USA and right here in Brum. I’m not a qualified expert – just a very experienced end user!
Why do people go online – and use social networks?
What sorts of groups?It could be for entertainment, project development, dating, illegal activities – all sorts of reasons.
it’s not about the technology at all. It’s about the people. The value in online communities comes from connecting one person to another
And being human This quote speaks of the very human desire to be connected
…and to have a sense of purpose. A sense of belonging. A sense of togetherness.
The modern campfire - the tool of group reinforcement, belonging and significance can be found in the behaviours of youth across the globe from skateboarders using Bluetooth to set up ad-hoc networks to share pictures and videos of their sessions to Indian students exchanging notes in class using BB messenger
Often, it’s not just about entertainment and relaxation, it’s about community.
Our understanding of communities comes from our understanding of peopleOnline communities aren’t like the real world, they ARE the real world.Being authentic and polite are the ONLY ways operateAs people change, so will the online communities they form Because communities operate in the real world. So they change. All the time. They are fluid, hard to predict, ever changing.Predicting how we form and shape our communities online is impossible. But it is safe to say that the future will be awesome.
The surprise breakfast is just one of many trends of a similar pattern. Increasingly people are using online to facilitate offline meetings – from breakfast meetups in Helsinki to History Girls in Tokyo to board game rooms in ShanghaiSurprise breakfast signals the beginning of online/offline integration to the extent that in future we’ll stop distinguishing between the two domains and referring to “online social networks” and so on.
Mark Zuckerberg was asked – “How can I create an online community”
Zuckerbergs ultimate goal is to turn facebook into the planet’s standardized communication ( and marketing) platform, as ubiquitous and intuitive as the telephone but far more interactive, multidimensional and indispensable. Your facebook ID quite simply will be your gateway to the digital world.
We think that if you can build one worldwide platform where you can just type in anyone’s name, find the person you’re looking for, and communicate with them” he told a German Audience in January 2009, that’s a really valuable system to be building.In other words – facebook will be where people live their digital lives
Have you ever Googled your own name? If yes, what for? - Can online relationships ever have the same quality as real relationships? - Are there any similarities between online relationships and a relationship with God?
Stephen Fry – Twitter… I’m sure he’s trying to be Oscar Wilde!How many friends do we have Facebook makes us feel like mini celebrities with online entourages waiting to react to our every status update!
What is our motivation behind our hundreds of friends on facebook?How do you choose who to add as a friend?Several of my contacts have had to make “fan pages” to accommodate the thousands of friends they have. Facebook has an upper limit of 5000 friends on a personal profile page! I currently have 747… and no I don’t know them all…How often do you do a friend “cull” - deleting people unless they connect with you in the next…
Continuous Partial Attention disorder – Internet Addiction DisorderAlways on – anywhere, anytime, any place that creates an artificial sense of crisis. We are always on high alert.The desire not to miss anything.It can create a buzzing like we’ve had too much coffee… we return to the internet to get our buzz… Depression could set in if we can’t have it. How would you feel if Facebook suddenly stopped working?
Here are a few ideas to help you practice intentionality humility and authenticity
Check in with yourself throughout the day – whatever you’re doing – do a quick personal inventory. What am I feeling right now? What kind of thoughts are going through my head in this moment? After getting a work email ask yourself what kinds of thoughts and emotions it surfaced. Did it make you anxious? Are you second guessing how you should reply? Are you ambivalent, thrilled, annoyed? Don’t worry about what the email means for the rest of your day, wek, life. Focus your attention on what kinds of thoughts and feelings are flitting through your mind right here and now. Learning to regularly check in with ourselves this way trains our brains to be mindful an puts us back in touch with our bodies.
Give yourself space at the beginning and end of the day to focus your attention in the present moment as a way of unplugging and coming back to yourself. One way could be to memorise a short psalm or other passage. Psalm 23 is a good one to startThe LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, [a] I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.Recite it a couple of times before you get out of bed – and then say a prayer inviting God into the details of your dayAt night recall your day and pick out 3 things you can genuinely be thankful for – Thank God for them in prayer and commit your night’s sleep to Him. God attentive and working whilst you’re asleep can more than handle your to-do list!
Make the intention to pay attention to how you spend your time on facebook. How much time of your day does it take up?How do you spend that time? Keeping in touch? scanning status updates? checking out provocative pictures your acquaintance of an acquaintance just posted?How does it make you feelWhat do you look forward to when you check FBWhat do you enjoy about the experience of itCheck in with yourself now and then in the middle of fb see what’s going on in your thoughts and feelings
Facebook rewards the clever or those most willing to risk revelation, exaggerate or downplay things to get a response. Tempted to overshare things. Most of this is just good fun. We can take ourselves too seriously – playful environment - that wouldn’t help any of us. Many relationships are starving for lack of authentic interaction.Does the content you’ve posted reflect your God given nature?Is it true to who you really areIf you’re funny be funnyArtistic – be artisticJust be YOU – apply this with your interactions too.
Do it for a month then take stock Did it draw you closer? Did you enjoy it? Was it difficult? Intentionality doesn’t tend to have much value in facebook – besides marketing and advertising which are the most intentional actions in FBAdopting a friend can also be a practive of humility – intentionally looking after the good of someone else - whether we take credit from it or not
One of the great commandments of the open source movement could equally be applied to the way we share our experiences of God – the more we share the more we learn about the way it all works!
My community – a special group of people they have chosen to relate to.We sometimes speak of community as the illusive and idyllic sense of warmth and connectedness that we long for.Perhaps in actuality most of us have all the community we need: neighbours, coworkers, relatives and friends. Our challenge is to learn to embrace, nurture and cultivate these relationships to their fullest potential – to become the best kind of neighbour, daughter, uncle, colleague or friend.And that can also mean relating to some – if not all of them – online too My friend Pennie – posted this quote on the café church wall…
Why has nobody commented on my status update?
Why has nobody commented on my status update?<br />Online Community<br />
Why has nobody commented on my status update?<br />Online Community<br />Craig Gilman<br />
“The desire to be part of a group that shares, cooperates, or acts in concert is a basic human instinct.” Clay Shirky<br />
The internet is for people. For people to form groupsGroups with shared purposes<br />“The desire to be part of a group that shares, cooperates, or acts in concert is a basic human instinct.” Clay Shirky<br />
"Over and over again, connecting people with one another is what lasts online. Some folks thought it was about technology, but it's not.“<br />Seth Godin<br />
and being human<br />“At some point the anonymity of the internet transformed into a social networking clearinghouse of daily minutiae…and most of us willingly opted in, choosing the ease and comfort of virtual intimacy over a lonely existence of real world disconnectedness”<br />(The Psychology of Sharing, Scott Lachut)<br />
Practice Intentionality, Humility, Authenticity<br />Practice regular check-ins<br />Make the intention to not go online immediately before bed and immediately after waking up<br />Practice mindful Facebooking<br />Practice authentic Facebooking<br />Adopt one or two Facebook friends for one month<br />
Practice Intentionality, Humility, Authenticity<br />Practice regular check-ins<br /><ul><li>What am I feeling now?
What kind of thoughts are going through my head
What kind of emotions did that email surface?</li></li></ul><li>Practice Intentionality, Humility, Authenticity<br />Make the intention to not go online immediately before bed and immediately after waking up<br /><ul><li>Give yourself space
Try to be YOU</li></li></ul><li>Practice Intentionality, Humility, Authenticity<br />Adopt one or two Facebook friends for one month<br /><ul><li>Pick a couple of people to give special attention to
Invite them to meet up</li></li></ul><li>Open Source<br />
"In the past you were what you owned. Now you are what you share." <br />Charles Leadbeater – We Think<br />
Real community?<br />“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members, a heart of grace, and a soul generated by love.”<br />- Coretta Scott <br />