There’s plenty to love about Twitter, and the wisdom of people like Tim Keller is one example.
WordPress has announced that it has added RSSCloud to the millions of blogs it hosts? So what, you say? What it means is that blogs can now act as real-time discussions, the way Twitter works. That means that your feed reader, if it supports RSSCloud, will get updates instantaneously rather than every 15 or 60 minutes. The ReadWriteWeb blog puts it in perspective:
Real time updates could enable several things. Faster distribution of blog posts, more compelling conversations in real-time and a renewed timeliness for blogging vs. services like Twitter are all likely consequences. The list of possible technical developments on top of RSSCloud could be as open-ended as the developments enabled by the core of RSS.
RSS has made blogging viable by freeing readers of the requirement of visiting each site they are interested in. It has made podcasts subscribable. It has made wiki change notifications trackable outside the mess of the email inbox. It has made search a persistent action, instead of a one-off occasional delayed reaction. RSS is mixable, mashable, parsable, filterabile.
Now RSSCloud could add a real-time dimension to all of that. The paradigm just got a very big vote of support.
Josh Harris posted some good thoughts about how his church recommends that worshippers not to use Twitter during services. John Piper agrees. Harris brings six points, which I think are helpful. This one is particularly good:
The most important thing I can do while I’m sitting under the preaching of God’s word is to listen to what God is saying to me. I need to actively engage my heart and mind to receive. Twitter, takes the focus off of hearing and receiving and and makes it broadcasting and sharing. So instead of my mind being engaged with thoughts of “What is the Word of God saying to me?” when I start “tweeting” my focus becomes, “What do I want to say? What do Iwant to express? What am I thinking?”
Along those lines, Piper adds these thoughts:
There is an assumption that Josh and I share, which is not understood or embraced by all. Preaching and hearing preaching are worship. Preaching is expository exultation. The preacher is explaining the Bible and applying the Bible and EXULTING over the truth in the Bible. The listener is understanding, and applying, and joining in the exultation. Hearing preaching is heart-felt engagement in the exposition and exultation of the Word of God.
This is a fragile bond. The fact that an electric cord is easily cut, does not mean that the power flowing through it is small. It produces bright and wonderful effects. So it is with preaching. Great power flows through fragile wires of spiritual focus.
The point is, we already need to battle the temptation for distraction when we are worshipping. It isn’t just twittering. Before Twitter ever came along there were myriads of things that come before us to break the focus on what God is revealing to us through worship. Don’t add another one.
And, finally, when it is over both men make clear that then yes, by all means twitter. Tell people what you have heard. Share it. Exult in it. But get the message first, that’s all.
It’s out there and there’s no stopping it. I mean old people taking over Facebook and Twitter:
Still, there’s no shortage of anecdotal evidence that sharing the online world can be a source of intergenerational strife. Take Will Smith (no, not the actor), for example. When this 33-year-old tech professional received a Facebook friend request from his father in March, he was floored. Not because he didn’t want to connect with his dad, but because doing so on the same network that he shared with so many peers and colleagues raised a host of complex concerns.
“My father, who I dearly love, has a tendency to forward e-mails that are off pretty off-color,” says Smith. “It’s probably nothing that would get me fired, but stuff that could earn me a trip to HR, if I ever opened them [at work]. My concern was that he would post that type of message on my Wall or in another public venue on Facebook without realizing it was a public venue. Since everyone from my immediate supervisor to the president of my company is in my friend list, there’s potential for bad things to happen. I don’t think anything actually would, but there was strong potential for embarrassment.”
To reduce the likelihood of a career-damaging dust-up, Smith sent his dad an e-mail in which he laid out what he considered reasonable limits for their online father-son bonding. Off-limits: “Politics, sex, jokes, things you find funny but offend me, comments about family members, any combination of the aforementioned items, and pretty much every e-mail you’ve ever sent me.”
Ultimately, Smith’s worst-case scenario never came to pass and—perhaps because that e-mail—his father never logged back into Facebook. But according to data from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, people of the same age as Smith’s father are logging onto Facebook in droves, and Baby Boomers are now the fastest growing population on the social network.
Ultimately, disaster was averted in this case. But it’ll only be a matter of time before mom or dad is tweaking you with a “Yoo hoo, honey!” for all your friends to see.