Using Facebook to build Christian community

I’m not a great fan of Facebook, but Ian Paul is.

Here are some of his thoughts on building Christian relationships through Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg aimed to replicate online the sorts of social things that people do in real life. In the film this arises from a conversation with his friend, who is wondering who is in a relationship with whom, from which Zuckerberg adds the ‘In a relationship’ feature to his programme.

So what are the kind of ‘human relating’ things that we can use Facebook for? Here are examples of how I have used Facebook in the last few weeks. What about you?

It seems to me that the strength of FB is that it offers an open-but-controlled forum for disseminating information, but in a distinctive way. The control is person by person, in contrast to a discussion forum where, if I join the forum, I have little control over who can read and comments on my comments. In fact, this precisely reflects Zuckerberg’s original aim of replicating social experiences online, and explains why FB has grown so rapidly—in the main, people do on FB what they have been doing in real life, but with the power of online connectivity.

What about you?

Paul (ha!) evidently does not subscribe to the view that Facebook spells the end of religion. To put it in economic terminology, t’s not a substitute, it’s a complement for building the body of Christ.

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