Thursday, January 20, 2011

Join the Conversation: First Class Post

Okay, this post is technically for a class (Sharing the Gospel on the Internet), but I'm going to try my best to write like it's old times and I don't have to do it for a grade :)

So here goes.

I've always loved technology, but haven't always been the type to jump on every single social media bandwagon that solicits my inbox. E-mail? Okay. Facebook? I guess I can deal with that. Texting? Okay, if you insist. Myspace? I already have a facebook. Twitter? I don't get it.

I tend to join sites that either help me meaningfully connect with my friends, that help me with my current interests/hobbies, or because of necessity in daily life. But I can't keep up with more than a few at one time, so I like to use sites that allow me freedom to multitask. Redundancy in sites gets just plain annoying. Typically on a social media site I am either there to coordinate activities, connect with friends, or learn new skills related to my interests.

Still, social media can be a powerful tool. As suggested by Elder Ballard, there is great potential to spread the gospel through social media. Sharing the gospel online has advantages and disadvantages with sharing the gospel through direct interpersonal interaction. Online, you can provide all kinds of information to people who are interested. You can even chat and answer people's questions directly. In the initial stages, sharing the gospel through the internet is a lot easier than face to face. Even later on in the investigation, and even in membership, it's a great supplement; but it can't last forever as the sole means of contact. At some point there is a need to have real, physical friends close by who can support you as you continue to grow in the gospel. In class, we skyped with some Missionaries at the MTC who share the gospel through digital media 24/7. The had some great stories and wonderful successes, but almost always social media worked alone only in the very beginning. They would teach the first one, maybe two lessons online and then invite the investgators to meet with missionaries in person. Afterward they would continue to work with the people online, but it was in combination with "ground zero" physical interaction.


  1. finally some updates going on here ha,
    Umm, so, to be honest, if I had just randomly read this post somewhere, I would not have been able to guess that you wrote this right off, You have a different voice on this post, I've only seen glimpse of this version of tone from you very very few times so this was kind of different experience,, Either you didn't put much thought to this post and wrote it in a rush, or you have changed these days, or maybe it's just me.
    You haven't mentioned any details really, but I had always thought you at least made this blog to share the gospel by posting gospel art, and even on DeviantArt you always posted either gospel art or art that promotes good behavior, or your GreeniFire for example and how you wanted to share the gospel using your talents and abilities, I guess it comes so natural to have that motif for you that you don't even notice it as your motif? I don't know, for some reason this post didn't seem like it was you that wrote it, that's just my feeling though,,

  2. :) yeah, it was kind of rushed, and kind of incongruous with the rest of the blog. On top of that I was kind of stressed and upset about a couple of things when I wrote it, maybe that's what you heard . . . maybe I should change it

  3. Not being familiar with your voice, I don't hear the stress or upset-ness coming through, unless you're referring to comments like, "Redundancy in sites gets just plain annoying." But do you really have to be stressed to feel that way? I feel that way all the time...

    "Typically on a social media site I am either there to coordinate activities, connect with friends, or learn new skills related to my interests." I think this utilitarian view is completely appropriate. Why would you join a site when there's no apparent value there for you?

    And your point about things eventually needing to transition to face-to-face is right on. Elder Bednar's talk (,4945,538-1-4830-1,00.html) gets right to that point! Why mess around creating worlds and bodies for people if a completely virtualized experience would do? No, there's something specific about having and acting through a body that's of critical importance to the learning we need to do here...