If you’re anything like me, you pull the trigger first and ask questions later. Never was this more true than with my social network privacy settings. I’d share anything (and everything) without giving any thought to who (or what) may be seeing it. Normally this is a bad idea, but when you’re in ministry, it’s an even worse one.
When I was working at a church, people that I had never met would recognize me because of the public nature of my job. Restaurants, the library, coffee shops, the mall—would get identified nearly everywhere I went. I’m sure many of you can relate!
This same phenomenon followed me into the online world as well. Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare my blog, people knew of me in a way that I was incapable of reciprocating with relationally.
Online and Offline Privacy as Ministers
The main difference between my online and offline worlds was privacy. Offline, I had the ability to control nearly every aspect of relational interaction I had with people:
- If we had people over to our house, they would only be able to see our photo albums if we went to where they were stored and brought them out.
- Our neighbors were usually the only ones who knew when and where we were going.
- Home videos only got watched if we put them in the DVD player.
My online world, however, was a bit different:
- Strangers could see photos of my son anytime they wanted (and I had no control over who saw them).
- Anyone who wanted to could see where I was at and where I was going.
- Videos that I posted for others could be seen by anyone with an Internet connection.
It wasn’t until I started getting friend requests by the dozens from people I didn’t know that I realized I could do something about it. It troubled me to decline or reject a friend or follow request, but I also didn’t want to continue to allow anyone and everyone access to every part of my online life.
Privacy Settings Save the Day!
I realized that, thanks to privacy settings, I could maintain some sort of sanity and get the right content to the right people. I could maintain and safe relational distance from the people I didn’t know very well while continuing to allow the people closest to me to see what was going on. My online life didn’t need to be an open book to the entire watching world!
Over the last few months in working for Monk, I’m realizing that many of you in ministry feel the exact same way. You have people you’d like to share with, and then you have people you sort of want share with. Then there are people you never want to share with but are afraid to let them know this! Am I right?
A Free Webinar to Show You How
That’s why I want to invite you to join me for a free webinar this Wednesday where we’ll be looking at social network settings for people in ministry. I’ll walk you through the settings that I use each and every day to make sure my social media presence is safe and secure while still being fun! We’ll cover Facebook profile and fan page settings and Twitter settings as well.
Have you ever felt like you needed to give up online privacy because you’re in ministry? Would you change that feeling if you felt like you could? Have you ever felt uncomfortable sharing certain aspects of your life online? What were they?.