Are you under-utilizing social media or overwhelmed by it?

We are in the midst of a social media revolution.

Just a few short years ago everyone was saying, “Your organization needs email and a website.”

Now you’re probably hearing things like, “Your website needs to be dynamic and interactive!”

“You need a blog!”

“You need to engage people on Facebook!  Twitter!  YouTube!  Friendfeed!”

“You need a smart phone so you can check email, update your Facebook status, from anywhere.”

“And if you want to stay ahead of the curve your organization needs its own mobile ap so people can engage with it no matter where they are.”

It can all feel a bit overwhelming, can’t it?

Social Media Anxiety

While social media has enabled us to connect with people like never before, for millions of people it’s causing increased stress and anxiety.

For the most part I feel energized about social media.  I’m excited by the thought of connecting with people online, creating and participating in conversations, engaging with new people in new ways.

But at times I feel like I’m missing out on opportunities.  I hear the success stories from people who are doing great things through social media – people who are growing their businesses, churches are reaching people in their communities, ministries are raising money and building new ministry partnerships.  And I feel like I could do more… want to do more… need to do more.

Then at times I feel like I can’t keep up with all I’m already trying to do – the constant flood of emails, Facebook updates, tweets, blogs to write, comments to respond to, blogs to read.

Biggest Challenge of Our Era?

Social media is affecting our relationships, our time, and our thinking in so many ways that I believe one of the biggest challenges of this era is figuring out how to manage life in this new always-on, always-connected world we now find ourselves.  Agree?  Disagree?

How are you feeling about your social media engagement these days?

I’m curious to hear if you think this is as big an issue as I do.  Take a moment to vote in the new poll in the right sidebar and post a comment.

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

11 Responses to “Are you under-utilizing social media or overwhelmed by it?”

  1. I absolutely agree with you! SM is changing the way we interact with one another. It is putting more demands on our time.

    But like you, I see the benefits of it, so am trying to fit it into my busy schedule as a professional writer and author. It can be done, but it certainly takes determination. And in doing so, it's important not to forget the important ones who live and work within the same walls as we do.

  2. Marilyn Fisher Jan 19, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Being that I also have a Business besides the Ministry, I use social media alot on the business end. Some days it drives me nuts, with all of the emails and blogging, and then people want you to join this and that application, (pets, zoo, garden and let's not forget causes.) If people put that much energy into studying the Word or just doing Gods work here on earth, we would be further along in spreading The Good News.

    Rev. Fisher

  3. I think people are just beginning to realize the power of social media. It has the power to connect people like nothing else. From a ministry perspective you can now reach thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people with the message of the Gospel. And it is easy. Look at it as a high tech way to stand on the corner but instead of handing out tracts and not connecting with people social media gives us the ability to slowly connect with people who are in your community. People who have needs, wants and hurts that the church can provide.

    Using Facebook it is easy to connect with church members and visitors who might be interested in getting more information about the church. It also is very easy for members to recommend their friends to your church's fan page.

    I've got more info on the website below if anyone is interested.

  4. Sorry forgot the link: http://www.GrowingChurches.net or you can click on my name to be taken to the site.

  5. Hey Mike, thanks for comment. I edited your first comment to include your link there.

    Social media does have a lot of power and potential, but would you like to speak specifically to the anxiety many people feel that either they're not doing enough or from trying to keep up with all they are doing? Are you hearing that in your conversations about social media?

  6. My feeling is that there are so many people trying to get people to engage with them and their Social Media Mechanisms/channels/networks that they don't engage.
    We run the risk of becoming a numbers generation where we value some measurement of our SM engagement rather than engaging. Bringing it to a Church context: worried more about the number of chairs filled than the Life Change in a few individuals.

  7. People hate to be told the truth and others fear to say the truth and in the end no life change.The true gospel of righteousness has been supplemented by that of prosperity.

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