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Resources: On Social Media as Spiritual Practice

NOTES from a workshop on using social media as a spiritual practice:

pdf notes from workshop.


SOME QUERIES on social media and spiritual practice:
  • What are the spiritual uses I regularly find for social media? 
  • Can blogging serve as ministry?  Rise from worship?   
  • Does the Internet enter into my prayer life, and if so, how?
  • Does my use of social media benefit my spiritual community/communites?  If so, how?
  • What are the dangers social media pose to faithfulness?  
  • How am I addictive in my own use of social media? 
  • Where do I need more accountability in my use of social media, and to which parts of my faith community/communities? 
  • When and how do I outrun my guide in blogging? And how does that feel different from being faithful when I write?

Beyond the addictive qualities of Facebook's Upworthy videos and Grumpy Cat memes, I'm aware of the ways my writing can be influenced by my creaturely hope of admiration.

I am aware of a temptation to write what may be reblogged rather than what is deeply true or important, and the temptation to be overly strategic in blogging--thinking of blogging frequency and length in terms of what will drive traffic rather than what is faithful--or, I wonder, is that OK on some level?

To what extent is being strategic around traffic or readership an interference with being spiritually present within the writing, and to what extent is it a different kind of faithfulness?



FURTHER RESOURCES

"I Blog Because I'm Happy, I Blog Because I Care" from John Madsen-Bibeau's Like it Matters.
  • John, a friend who is a therapist and UCC minister, ponders these queries.

"12 Pieces of Advice for Quakers on the Internet" from Jon Watts' blog.
  • Jon Watts considers ways to make use of the Internet in ministry--and some of the pitfalls.
"What Is a Quaker Ministry? (What Isn't?)" from Jon Watts.
  • Jon Watts reflects on his art (music) as ministry, and some of the potential pitfalls in that.

"Writing Out Loud: Blogging as Worship" from the Online Journal of Christian Communication and Culture.
  • Reflections on blogging as an interactive diary, from humility rather than self-promotion.

"On Writing from a Spiritual Center" from Cat Chapin-Bishop at Quaker Pagan Reflections.
  • My own reflections on my process when I write from a spiritual center.

"Screen Free Week: Reflections and Next Steps" from Joanna Hoyt at Living as if the Truth Were True.
  • Quaker Joanna Hoyt on what an annual week without the Internet shows her about her use of it.

"Vi Hart's Guide to Comments" from Vi Hart's You Tube Channel.
  • A humorous look to how we humans respond to online critics. 
"Gastblogschaft" from A Heathen's Day and "Gastblogschaft" from A Pagan Sojourn
  • Two perspectives on the Heathen/Pagan concept of Gastblogshaft, the mutual hospitality owed between a blogger and a blog's commenters.

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