Social Media: Megaphone or Gathering Place?

With the plethora of divisive political social media use over the last year or so, Facebook has become a place we sometimes dread, a place where the beliefs of our acquaintances are stuffed down our throats, often leaving us in an unfortunately uncomfortable place of limbo – do we “unfriend” those who continue to spout hatred and intolerance in social media?  Do we leave comments suggesting other points of view?  Are these people really seeking engagement or simply a megaphone for their values?  If social media is the great gathering place of the 21st century, where do people go for inspiration, for encouragement, for a sense of community?  I follow RunUMother for inspiration and challenge:

Source: RunUMother

Source: RunUMother

I feel supported by my own caring community of friends on Facebook – those around me (some of whom have only just now joined Facebook) and those friends who use social media to support and interact from afar.  Even the pope has a Twitter feed!  In yesterday’s edition of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, columnist Regina Brett pontificated on the Pope’s new Twitter feed; her 12/9/12 column is well worth the read.

Many religious leaders are using social media to get their messages out.  The Dalai Lama has more than 4.5 million “likes” on his Facebook page.

Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 5.37.07 AM

 

The page is frequently updated with photos and messages:Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 5.36.47 AM

 

The United Church of Christ posts daily advent devotionals on their Facebook page: Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 5.42.07 AM

 

What motivates your tweet and status updates?

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