Social Media Reality Check- Are You Consumed?

1280072_keyboardThe month started with 34 items on the “to do” list. Each task varied in size & time needed to complete. Slightly overwhelmed, I took a deep breath and dove in… a few minutes later temptation crept in…

… “hey man, quick question” a ministry friend of mine, Brian Ford, was Instant Messaging me through Facebook. “What would you say about your Facebook use? You don’t really use it, you use it a lot, you tend to think everyone is going away from it… something else?”

Facebooking with Brian Ford was not one of the 34 listed items on the to do list. But somehow it became priority #1. If it weren’t Brian on Facebook it could easily be an alert on TweetDeck or an iChat notification. I do NOT consider myself nor have I been diagnosed ADD, however I am discovering how easily the notifications distract and consume.

I was honest with Mr. Ford and told him that I likely am on it too much. We ended up talking about this off and on the next few days and today we both have gone live with blog posts (his is here). Brian spends some time talking about some of the struggles it has caused in his heart, mind and relationships. My post tackles the moderation issue.

How Can I Stay Social & Networked But Not Consumed?

1030887_tweet_tweet___I enjoy Twitter, Skype, iChat, and Facebook and I easily justify the need to stay connected on them. Much of my livelihood has to do with staying connected, available and aware of what’s going on in the ministry world and with the ministers in that world. But the reality is, those I need to stay the most connected with have access to me via text, email or a call. I need to remind myself if I am needed, they can find me.

I do not want Social Media to become a hindrance to my family, faith and/or ability to get work done. So, I am experimenting with something I’m calling First 5, Last 5.

What is First/Last 5?

I am going to challenge myself for a season (a few weeks) to take the first 5 and/or last 5 minutes before or after major breaking times during my day to engage in social media. These natural breaks include breakfast, lunch, end of regular work day and before bed. Other than those times the apps will be off and the sites off my desktop.

I’m not going to be legalistic, but my general guide will be:

  • First five minutes as I begin my workday
  • Last five before lunch
  • First five after lunch
  • Last five at end of workday

My goal at home is to be to keep them off until the kids are in bed and Elisabeth and I are both at the point where we feel the freedom to relax (TV, web, Netflix, etc.)

I have found that I can too easily get sucked into my newsfeed and too quickly link to a blog, news site or become consumed thinking about a witty response to a persons tweet. Therefore, in order to protect my family, my ministry and my workload I’m going to give this First/Last 5 a whirl! Any other takers?

Grace,
Brian

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That’s Tweetable!

TYM_ICONToday is a big day, I finally launched my first MailChimp campaign. It was a few weeks (well months) in the making as I put together a strategy that met a few essential criteria.

  1. Give something and possibly get something (give insights, wisdom, experience and inspiration and in return we may see readers take advantage of resources that Youthmark or our partners offer, but do so at a rate they can’t get anywhere else)!
  2. Contribute to a greater cause (I believe student ministry is three pronged- student, staff and leaders, my hope is that all the posts contribute to that three pronged focus and then see the fruit of unity in Christ can bring).
  3. Less is more (though I won’t limit myself to 140 words or less on brianaaby.com, all posts in the TweetableYM brand will be concise, 140 words or less, proving that most of the time, less is more)!

We launched the TweetableYM (tweetable youth ministry) brand today. The TweetableYM branding consists of:

Playing with the 140 character theme from Twitter, we are producing a resource (blog/newsletter) where all of the posts will be 140 words or less! Then connected to the featured (hash-tagged) post we’ll give links to additional writings and resources on that subject.  In addition we will (most always) have a featured resource with an exclusive discount available ONLY to those subscribed to the newsletter).

Check us out on any/all of the above… be among the first 140 to subscribe, like and/or follow and you’ll be entered to win one of three Youthmark hoodies!

We appreciate you getting the word out, feel free to r/t this post, share on Facebook, etc.!

Grace,

Brian