The social media platform that invented microblogging and gave everyone in the world a podium with 140 characters or less turned 8 years old yesterday.
Here's my first Tweet:
I'm looking forward to the Homemade Salsa contest at church tomorrow. I hope a lot of people decide to break out their recipes!
— Sam Powers (@samueltpowers) September 22, 2009
Ah, this shows that I've been on Twitter since 2009? Who knew I was so trendy? Actually, before you pat me on the back for being so hip, I've only sent 182 tweets - mostly links to this blog or to a YouTube video we've made.
Occasionally, I send something witty like this:
Power out during Ash Wed. service so we imposed ashes by candlelight! Our church must be giving up electricity for lent! #umc #lent #ashwed
— Sam Powers (@samueltpowers) March 6, 2014
When Twitter first came out, I didn't think it would last. I couldn't really see the difference between this and Facebook status updates. Now I see that Twitter communication transcends your Facebook friends and through the use of hashtags, you can search for trends or like posts.
It allowed American student journalist James Buck to go free during Egyptian protests back in 2008 after he tweeted this to his followers:
— James Buck (@jamesbuck) April 10, 2008
They contacted the American embassy and he was released the next day. So as a form of free speech and sharing of information, it has helped to bring justice to the world.
The church may be slow to catch up on how to effectively utilize this medium. Paul once wrote to the church at Corinth, "I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some." (1 Corinthians 9:22, NRSV) Would Paul have been on Twitter? I kind of think he would. #AbovetheLaw #Leastoftheapostles #untimelyborn
Whether you tweet or not, a good question for Lent may be, "How are we communicating the gospel?" For those that are uncomfortable with overt faith-sharing, the question may be, "How are you letting the gospel shape your communication?"
Good prayer fodder for a Saturday.