Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Modern Media Pleasures and Their Role in Pastor Approval Ratings

I am a self-professed techno-geek mediaphile. I like multi-media gadgets (iTouch, personal digital recorder, negative/slide scanner, DSLR camera, smallest hard drive video camera), love using software tools that connect me to this and that (iTunes, youtube, Twitter, Skype, Facebook, Blogger). I’m no programmer (though I was once hired as one and managed to masquerade my way through for several years on the foundational skill of being able to read and follow instructions). I do not write applications, I just like dabbling in the most current, intuitive trends I can afford. Shucks, I even have the entire Bible in five different translations installed on my Palm (compact, handy, full of wisdom). I find as many free downloads of clever tools as time allows and enjoy the synapse-firing learning rush as I keep my post-50 mind engaged during my “I’m Not Working, I’m a Writer” phase.

The benefit and practical advantage of many of these items is how it connects me with others. Photos and videos are memory snapshots of my relationships and celebrations with others and with Nature (thus, my Creator). Time spent communicating via social networking apps is building on past friendships and cultivating new ones, most of whom I also meet in person on a semi-regular basis.

In an increasingly self-contained and disaffected society, each aspect of my techno-geek world is a support mechanism for a pseudo-healthy exertion of my ultra-extrovert and incurably curious personality.

Apparently I’m also a hyphen-addictive (and brackets) personality.

I was musing this morning about how these tools have shaped our paradigm of the world. We have a new Lead Pastor coming to our church. From the moment I heard his name, I have been “following” him. Using Google (the Heaven for the Curiosity-Driven), I locate his previous church, his email address, read his bio, and friend him on Facebook. He accepts. (Okay, he gets brownie points for being on Facebook, extra points for being active, bonus points for taking a chance on me.) He has 500+ FB friends. (Must be a likeable guy.)

I write a blog post about “what an AmeriCanadian like me wants an incoming southern pastor to know about living in Canada” and send him the link via email. He replies. Very gracious. Very loving. He liked it. (Mega points.) When they are candidating (“trying out”) for the position, I introduce myself and get rewarded with a big hug and a jovial drawl, “There’s my Facebook friend.” Later in the week, we even chat live on Facebook. (Okay, jackpot!) As he and his wife prepare to leave Florida and move to Canada, I check his Facebook status every day to get updates on their progress. Yesterday they were at Little Big Horn (“sad”), the day before, Mount Rushmore (“Wow!”), before that, Alabama… you get the idea.

Now if you don’t know me, that sounds a little more stalker-esque than what might be comfortable, but for me it’s simply all about “Knowledge is power.” Mwahahahah.

(Just kidding). Relax already.

It’s about relationships. I’m all about that. Always have been, always will be. I think relationships are the most important thing in the world, and ultimately, in eternity. People last forever, so I’d better spend my time investing in them. Whatever media it takes to make that happen, bring it on!

And that is definitely “My pleasure!”

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