Are You In?... (Social networking, that is)

Wisdom is the most important thing; so get wisdom.
    If it costs everything you have, get understanding.
~Prov. 4:7 (NCV)

      Social networking has become one of the easiest ways of communicating with large numbers of people inexpensively and quickly, in real time. I can't think of a better way of reaching people from all corners of the world than by using one of the online networks. You can text, chat, e-mail and instant message several people and have multiple conversations at once...just don't get your devices mixed up!

     Global communications also make it very easy to share encouragement and the Good News of Christ with others, even if we don't directly witness to them one-on-one. With the many quotes and the ability to cut and paste from Bible pages, we have a lot of opportunities to send positive messages through various social networking sites such as Facebook(TM)*  Twitter (TM)*, Tumblr (TM)* blogs, and newsfeeds. Networks such as LinkedIn(TM)* are another way of doing professional networking with people with whom we have similar interests.
     There are probably still many of you who don't feel comfortable on social networks because of privacy concerns, or because of some of the unsavory behavior that goes on a lot of the time, but a lot of that happens due to people not knowing how they work, or not taking the time to adjust their settings for the most security.

     Before opening a social networking account, decide on your reasons for having one. Are you going to use it to keep in touch with family members and friends? Would you like to network with people who share common interests or to meet new business contacts, or maybe a combination of all of the above? If you have an account, and privacy is a concern, are you familiar with how to adjust your settings to allow limited access to your information?  For example, on Facebook (TM), you can make your posts public, limited to friends, friends except acquaintances, restricted from certain people, or to yourself only... and can change the audience for each post according to groups of people that you want to reach. Also, you can use a nickname or pseudonym that you post under, as long as you are not impersonating anyone else. You can also choose to leave personal information off of your page such as your location, birthday, hometown or any other facts that you want to keep private, but also remember to respect other people's right to privacy.
A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
~Prov. 18:24 (NKJV)

     When sending out  friend requests, what motivates you to connect with people? Are you reaching out because you find certain people interesting, for marketing purposes or to increase your data base? If you aren't sincere, people will eventually drop you if they feel that you are only contacting them to enlarge your list of friends and have no real interest in them. At the same time, use discretion when accepting friend requests, because everyone who sends a request doesn't necessarily have a good reason for sending one.

     Over the next few weeks, I'll be posting information on how to have to best experiences with social networking, what I've learned, and what has worked for me. In the meantime, are you in?


If you would like to learn more about how to secure your Facebook account, here's a link to Facecrooks.com:


*Facebook, Facecrooks.com, Twitter, Tumblr and LinkedIn are registered trademarks...and the use of these examples is not an endorsement of any of the above...use them responsibly, and at your own risk.