I had the joy of spending time with Songbird last weekend, someone I would have never met had it not been for the blogosphere. Now we keep in touch using a large variety of methods: blog (hers a lot, mine not so much lately), facebook, twitter, text messaging, chat and email. So far there has been no skype.
It got me to thinking of the pros and cons of these relatively new means of communication and interconnecting and so I ask you the following:
1) What have been the benefits for you of social networking (blog, twitter, facebook, etc...)
I have a facebook account and I have two blogs. I am more or less bewildered by facebook. I don’t know how to use it to expand the ministry. I am not sure what ‘skype’ is, Katheryn. I don’t text so I don’t Twit. My thumbs are not that dexterous.
2) Which medium do you use the most? Or if you use them all, for what do you use each of them?
I have been blogging since I went to the MS coast after Katrina. Being an significant extrovert who has to get her ideas out in order for me to make decisions, work them through or even speak about them coherently, and being in a place where I have been cut off from a lot of collegiality, blogging has been a Goddesend.
3) If you could invent a networking site (with no limits on your imagination), what would it provide? What would it not provide?
Now, you have gone beyond my pay grade! I am not techie enough to think beyond the constraints of blogging. H___ I can’t even link! I am bringing my laptop to B3 hoping that SOMEONE will teach me to link!
4) Who have you met that you would not have met if it were not for the 'miracle' of social networking?
MaryBeth, FranIAm, Klady, Daniel, Brian Stoffregen, Bishop Walter Righter, Bishop Jack Spong, Bishop Pierre Whalon, Bonnie Anderson, the ELCA. It goes on and on. We had a meeting of the Episcobloggers last year and I finally got to meet some of my online friends. AWESOME!
I have had conversations with theologians that I would not have gotten to meet because they are on the left coast and carried on conversations about the Episcopal Church with people all over the world.
5) Who do you secretly pray does not one day try to 'friend/follow' you?
There are those who DO follow and sometimes leave ‘those kind of comments’ that I reject. “It’s my blog and I can post what I want to” she said musically! I do monitor my comments. On facebook I “hide” some comments, but I ignore some “friends”. The viagra seller are at the top of my list!
BONUS: What was the most random/weird/unsettling/wonderful connection you made that would not have happened if it were not for the ease of which we can find each other in the computer realm?
I joined a discussion on Ecunet some years ago (before Katrina) with a pastor who was really opposed to gayfolk. We ended up having a very long and very offline email correspondence. He was what I thought was a typical ‘southern conservative’. We ended up having many long telephone conversations. He shared his fears with regards to the LGBT issue and I shared some of my journey. He came 180 degrees to understand himself and his own prejudices were. He died suddenly a few years ago and I really miss his friendship. We were really candid with each other. I miss having a man with whom I can have that ‘intimate’ and that ‘safe’ with.