Friday, January 16, 2009

Got A Moment For A Survey?

Serving neighbors and lovingly getting to know them has always been so important. Man, this interests me today, but I have a lot to learn in this area. I wanna get better.


Now I’ve only got a few minutes to post something here today, but I do have a few questions for you. I hope you don't mind. In an effort to make real friends, do you email a lot, use Twitter (if so, feel free to join me), have a blog, or maintain a website? For many people the www stands for: world wide wasteoftime, but it doesn’t have to be that way for you.


Perhaps you use Plaxo or Linkedin for business and then wonder why you are even in there clicking on links. I’ve messed around some in each these social networks. Why? Well, because I’m a High-I-socializer—a full-blown Sanguine and I enjoy interacting with people. But I certainly don’t feel I’m very techno-savvy or good at this stuff. There seems to be a lot of unwritten rules with each of these companies that urks a Noobie like me.


Perhaps you are using MySpaceID, Google Friend Connect or Facebook Connect to generate more two way conversations, some more interactive traffic to your cause or sites ..or simply to let your friends know more about your interests as these OpenId* services leave a tracks in your SN-feed. I’ve been using them a tiny bit.

Anyways, I’ve got a moment for a short survey and you can respond if you like using disqus or the comment field at the bottom here? I’m just curious that's all…

Q: What is your favorite social network today (if you use one..) and what are you primarily using it for ..or aiming to do with it?

A. To get or to stay close to friends or family members.

B. To meet new friends and avoid growing bored at home all alone.


C. To market one or more products or services or charitable causes.


D. To Develop a label or identity for your business.


E. To get your particular “message” (of valid warning out, or maybe some kind of positive proclamation) out.. as far and wide ...and as efficiently as you can. 


F. Other (please explain in a sentence or two).

It’s about proper communication with your neighbor! Lately, I have been vicariously enjoying other people’s conversations and fellowship (that they themselves have made public to me in their social networks..) and I am learning too. How cool it that?

In fact I enjoy listening (reading) more than I enjoy putting out my own blah, blah (typing—I can’t learn very much when my gums are flappin’ in the wind). Communicating digitally can be fun. Did you know that eRol interestingly enough, did a study recently and found that two thirds of students check email once a day. And 55 percent of them check their email inboxes three or more times per day?


Here are the preferred means of communication for college kids today:

Text messaging (37%)

Email on a computer (26%)

Social networking IM (15%)

Instant messaging (11%)

Social networking email (11%)

Email on a mobile device (12%)

Did you know that 85% of students who visit social network sites use them to see what their friends are up to and 70% participate in SN-based message boards to communicate with friends. On average, 18-24 year old students are hanging out on these sites for 6.5 hours a week. Students claim to have an average of 111 friends across many profiles online, changing the definition of today’s peer group and the way in which young people connect with each other. And 61 percent of students on social networking sites say they are interacting with people they have never even met in person** (please do be careful to protect yourself against identity theft, my not posting any critical personal info for the world to see).

Did you know that more than 80 percent of college students send and receive text messages, averaging 115 messages per month? It’s even reported that 80 percent of responses to offers delivered via cell phones to students occur within the first hour after they receive any kind of marketing.


I know in my family, that all three of my sons would much rather send text messages to us as well..or simply call us on their cell phones, than use any other tools (hey, do I sound like I’m from another era here?).


Yes, teens today, 13 to 17 years old, on average send and receive about 1,742 text messages per a month. Teens also talk on the phone mega-gobs but at a much lower rate (perhaps you’ve been paying for their minutes).. only making and receiving about 231 calls per month. One report even suggests that tweens ..or kids under the age of 12 are also heavy text users, averaging about 428 messages per month.


Of course there will be times for each of us to appropriately sever destructive friendships—you know, DELETE—but man, doesn’t it seem like there has been a whole lot of digital-relationship-building going on this decade? So many wise people I know are really good at it too—they’ve actually added value to my life and family. Hey, I’m grateful! Thanks (and you know who you are out there).


God certainly doesn't need you or I... nor our money to accomplish His goals, but I would still challenge you to consider using your profile (in your particular social network etc.) for the Lord and His eternal purposes. It's a privilege and there is nothing to be nervious about! Tactful e-saturation-evangelism is happening already! If you happen to be a secret agent saint online or off, I challenge you to be brave and come out of your MySpace closet so to speak (or better yet, come out of your prayer closet to go tell). What are you afraid of? Sure, some of us might catch some flack from mockers here and there, and people are indeed watching you, but there are people to win! Be like Paul who said, "I am not ashamed for the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation to everyone who believes" (Rom. 1:16). Puters and web-use don’t have to be a time-waste at all! All this can become related to the last part of Christ’s command regarding your neighbors, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,' and 'your neighbor as yourself'" (Lk. 10:27). But perhaps you’d personally like to address the more important, first part of His command as well. Go for it today before you do anything else! Hey ..you'll never be lonely or empty again!


*OpenID eliminates the need for multiple usernames across different websites, simplifying your online experience.

**Info on this, click here.

Fish4Souls.org

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