|Posted by God Loves Women on November 11, 2013 at 7:05 AM|
You may have seen a blog I wrote last month about the Christian New Media Awards 2013 (CNMAC). At the time I began formulating some thoughts about the Christian Twitter World (not sure if I should capitalise it, as if it were an actual organised entity, but I have… ). Many conversations with some lovely people and some time with the Lord later, I thought it would be good to try and formulate my thoughts into a blog. So welcome along to the thought train (begins dancing around the room singing about the thought train to the tune of “love train” by the O’Jays…sits down calmly and begins writing.)
I’ve been on Twitter for a couple of years and I love it! I have met many of my Twitter friends, meeting for dinner, going to their house for tea (Mr GLW was rather concerned about this one, but it turned out she was a great cook, fun friend and not a raging psychopath), meeting at events like The Gathering of Women Leaders, and other such frivolity filled places. I would consider some of my best friends to be people I met through Twitter. Alongside meeting people offline, Twitter is a place I have been challenged and encouraged, prayed for and loved, and where I hope I have offered such things to others. A significant amoung of where I am spiritually, politically and philosophically has come through interactions on Twitter and through reading people’s blogs. All in all, I think Twitter is fabulous.
However, (there’s always a however, isn’t there…?) when the experiences I have online become labelled with a hashtag, talked about in terms of increasing my “platform” or when people I consider to be my friends and fellow travellers on the journey of life (those whom I follow or who follow me) are turned into a currency of either influence or a measurement of my value, I feel sick.
You’d have thought that my love of Twitter would have led me to feel excited and hopeful about the CNMAC conference last week. However, after aring my view on the awards I began feeling uncomfortable about the conference as well. I did attend the conference in 2012 and although the Twitter banter through the day was amazing, I only briefly connected offline with a couple of people I knew from Twitter. I found the conference really hurt my brain (not in a “good and thinking” type way; in a bad, “I can’t read twitter, follow a twitterfall, respond to Twitter, and listen to a speaker all at once” way.) I felt lonely and sad and disconnected all at once. The best point of the day was randomly having tea with some fun people, who had to endure my moaning about needing food *immediately*.
Why is it that Twitter can be such an amazing place, but CNMAC, a gathering focussed on doing “digitally better” can leave me feeling lonely and alienated? Then a thought struck me (not like actually physically hit me, more like a slow dawning realisation… ). There are two main groups on Twitter.
I’m always a bit worried about labelling people. In fact, I refuse to be labelled, hate “Myers Briggs” and even mute my SatNav so it can’t tell me what to do (you may laugh, but I am following the map, not being told where to go. Hmph!!). So please don’t take my two categories as rigid, immovable ideas. They are purely an illustration, and I doubt many people fit into either of the two categories fully.
I am a Journeyer. Twitter and blogging for me is about enjoying the journey with a group of people, some I agree with fully, some I rarely agree with, but still they all make the journey what it is, and actually together our discussions may change the direction of the journey and I find myself going on a whole new route because of the conversations going on in the car.
I feel that the CNMAC agenda and organisation is run primarily by Car Enthusiasts. Their explicit aim is one of excellence. One which makes sense for having a good car, but less so for having a good journey (I guess having an excellent car may make the journey smoother, but actually for me an old banger adds to the character of the journey, even if it is a bumpier ride). I feel disengaged from the CNMAC conference and awards not because there is anything wrong with them per se, but because their aims for social media are not my aims and they get excited about totally different things than the things I get excited about.
I worry that by posting this blog, I may upset people. They may feel a) I’m falsely dividing people and b) I’m wrong. However, I feel in order to clarify my thoughts, this blog explains where I’m currently at. But hey, hop in the car with me and let’s discuss it further.