Myspace Made Me
(by Mandy Thompson)
I recently sat across from a very well-respected mentor among the Christian creative community. Driving away from our rather influential conversation, I couldn’t help but ask myself how in the heck I ended up there?
Then I remembered: (cringe) it all started with Myspace.
I know. I know. Dare I even type that word?! Yes. Because it was my gateway drug, leading to Facebook and then blogging and Twitter and whatever is next.
Social media has played a surprising role in my life. A significant chunk of my recent opportunities have come from the connections made through blogging and twitter. (Note: I didn’t say Facebook, because that seems to be the place where many of us stay connected with IRL relationships.) My relationship with All About Worship is a great example of this dynamic. Wisdom and Ben never would’ve connected with me if it weren’t for social media. Would you believe I’ve never actually “met” these guys?
If you’re reading this, then you’ve probably already shown up for the vast cocktail party that is online community. But, just as there’s more to a cocktail party than standing in a corner with a drink in your hand, there’s more to social media than having a twitter handle. Work the room. Join the conversation. Ask questions. We have to listen just as much as, if not more, than we talk. We have to engage. And, (oh man, this is a big one) we have to be ourselves. I don’t know how, but the cyber-world can smell a fake. So do us all a favor and be yourself. mkay?
Find your niche in this digital cocktail party and dive in with questions and responses. This is a wiki-world we live in, and the online community is more about conversation than anything else. Don’t be a one-sided twitterer, only gracing the cyber-world with your wisdom and expertise--or just read blogs without commenting (hint hint).
But what’s to gain from attending this cocktail party? You will soon find yourself surrounded by a supportive community that “gets you.” Instead of being competitive, we really do support one another. We share tips, info, and prayer. We cheer one another on in our little corners of worship leading and ministry. And, believe it or not, this community often inspires us to reach beyond the walls of our church into our own local community, where we begin to form real-life relationships with others in ministry. It’s a powerful thing when the Body of Christ begins to work together, and for some of us, it starts when we enter the world of online community.Comment on Facebook Comment on Twitter
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