Blogging – Is there a need to do so?
Many may ask me why I choose blogging as a means to share my theological reflections. This is in fact another reflection worthy of its own post.
Indeed, in the age of social media, there are many platforms that we can share our thoughts. Facebook, for example, is an excellent tool to share our thoughts. For those who are looking to share more concise snippets, you may even consider Twitter. For those who are adept to share through pictures or videos, there’s Pinterest and Youtube. In short, there is no lack of platforms to share our thoughts and to propagate our views.
Nevertheless, there are at least two reasons why I feel that there is a need to do a theological blog. And I will compare its advantages with Facebook.
1. Blogging is not as random and public as Facebooking
Firstly, blogging is definitely not a random thing compared to Facebook. While I agree that we can be intentional with our Facebook postings, I can be random most of the time. When I read a good article on Facebook, I can just share it on my Timeline without explaining much about it. There is no need to be reflective about what I share. Alternatively, I can share other random one-liners or pictures of my loved ones.
And most of my friends will read what I post. This is where a lot of my peers in Acts College gets concerned. A number of them, due to their roles in church and ministry, are uncomfortable to maintain an online presence. While I don’t agree with the fear, I understand where they are coming from. You can easily be misquoted on Facebook.
Take for example, a few years ago, I was commenting that if the ruling party of Singapore wins the election with all the seats taken, it is still a democratic process. Apparently, someone told my senior pastor that I think PAP should win all the seats. I realised then that it is easy to misunderstood on Facebook. This is especially so when your readers do not read you in context.
This is where I have to ask myself – how can I be more edifying in what I share on public sphere? I have since toned down on my Facebook activities. Nevertheless, I feel that I need a platform to share my thoughts.
And after much thoughts and prayer, I think that a blog may be the best avenue for me to continue to engage the cyberspace without the added publicity accorded by Facebook. (However, I still would like you to share my articles on Facebook.) While a blog is possibly more public than my Facebook posts, it is less accessible. Moreover, it is less random as what I will mentioned below.
2. Blogging allows me to share more stuff than a normal Facebook post
Secondly, when I share on my blog, it disciplines me to share more than just a one-liner. It is easy to share one-liners on Facebook. It is also not difficult to share a long post on Facebook too. But given my nature, I am more prone to the former than the latter. This means that when I blog, it forces me to more reflective over what I share on the cyberspace.
It also means that I can also attempt to be more targetted in my posts. On Facebook, it is easy for me to post everything under the sun. However, on a blog, it forces me to think through what exactly I want to say. I operated in a random manner in my previous blog which evolved along the way. But on this new blog, I planned to be more focused in my postings while at the same time, attempting to be more edifying in my thoughts.
Sharing more stuff on my blog also means that I can think of who I am serving. Servanthood necessarily defines the Christian. If we are not thinking of the people we are serving, then we end up being self-centred. Likewise, when I share a longer reflective post online, it also forces me to think how this post helps to serve my readers. This is contrary to my own behaviour on Facebook, which may sometimes end up as a passive aggressive stunt to propagate my thoughts without much explanation.
The heart of it all
But at the heart of it all, the important part is about social engagement. As I have mentioned, I am convinced that as Christians, we need to share our message with the world. The internet is increasingly becoming a tool where people share information. Imagine the number of clicks and likes that are given everyday!
I remember interacting with my peers in Bible College. Some time back, I was discussing with some of them on how pastors were lost on how they can engage the generation today. One weakness that I have observed in some of the churches is the lack of social media capability and the lack of online engagement. And church leaders are afraid to enter into the sphere. Even in my previous workplace, we struggled with social engagement and there was a lack of investment in this area.
And so I ask myself – how can I engage in a better manner? While I may not be an expert in this area yet, this blog will hopefully train me to reach out to a social media-driven generation while I share my thoughts. It is part of the conviction that I have something to say and I need to find a place to say it. I may post these thoughts on thir.st but a blog of my own can allow me to create more space to articulate my thoughts.
What are other ways that you engage socially on cyberspace? Share with me with a comment below and I will reply!