Monitor this!

United Methodist clergy are debating social media and the monitoring thereof.  As this (linked) article points out, however, the policy in question (Kentucky Conference) has been in place for 3 years with no objections.

While I have to admit I am tempted to weigh in on the discussion, I had something happen recently that makes me wonder if we are really ready to have the debate, let alone such policies.

In a recent email, I was told that cell phone numbers would be left out of an upcoming directory unless the individual specifically requested otherwise.

I responded that I was happy to have mine included.  I’ve had it listed on Facebook for several years now, so my cell phone is effectively “out there.”

Hasn’t the time long past that people shrouded their cell phones in secrecy?

How many have shed their landlines and now ONLY have cell phones?

So, in this era of social media, the concern, if there is any, over things like Annual Conference BOMs requiring submission of ordination candidates only concerns me if the ones demanding the monitoring are only interested in monitoring technology they don’t understand.

You want to follow me on Facebook and Twitter? Fine with me.  Would you also like to listen in on every phone conversation?

Or only those to or from my cell phone?

I’ve joked lately that I’m not sure I want someone in charge of monitoring social media who refers to facebook as “The Facebook.”

On the other hand, it has been years since I feigned anonymity online.  My usual handle now is “steveheyduck.” No secrets there.

Monitor me.  Monitor me online because that’s easy.  Want to monitor the rest of my life?  If you have the resources and inclination, bring it on! (1 Corinthians 11:1)

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2 thoughts on “Monitor this!

  1. I think I find myself feeling similar things to you. I automatically assume anyone, anywhere has access to my online rantings/thoughts/discussions. I don’t get bothered by it, and feel like any of us pastors should have the same decorum online as we do I.r.l… There is a tendency of some who do not understand social media, however, to use it as an evaluation method, rather than understanding online discussions as works in progress. 20 years ago if you were to publish something, it was final and complete and authoritative… Now, you push a button and your best understanding of something at a particular moment is out there… But it can be edited and critiqued and the knowledge can grow in comments and follow-ups… It’s a different way of thinking about what is true, and I worry that some who monitor ordinands conversations won’t understand that.

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