Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Social Network’

Using Facebook For Good

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

I’ve hesitated to write on this subject for over 3 years now.  It is a sensitive issue – but as I always want to be an encourager and my purpose is to build up – here goes.

Is Facebook bad?  Can Facebook be evil?  I hear almost everyday – someone, somewhere telling me that they will never join Facebook because of what they’ve heard.  Or another person will write on a status update that they need to “fast” Facebook because they feel convicted as it can be time-consuming and maybe even tempt them in unhealthy ways and relationships.  Some pastors even believe that they should get their church members off Facebook.  That feels very discouraging to me.  Especially when I read about it in a person’s status update.  It is better to be encouraging and positive.  I love to read what other pastors and leaders say on the subject.  Those that use it for good.  They say that Facebook is not evil – people have sometimes misused it and made it that way.  But it is also a great tool for connecting with people.  This is so true.

I have been saddened by some status updates.  Status updates that say someone is taking a fast or going away altogether – leaving the impression by those of us still using social networking – that we have missed the boat – are wasting time or something worse.  It is these same people who feel convicted and then try to “convict” everyone else on connecting with people.  And while sometimes past connections can be unhealthy – or at least not the best, Facebook should not be blamed.

As long as we have had people – there has always been a tendency to wander and step outside the boundaries.  Affairs with people from the past happened as far back as the Bible days and before.  If you have the desire to go outside your marriage – you don’t need Facebook to do that.

I love Facebook.  It has allowed me to connect with people from our past ministry life and those I thought we would never see again – and be a very real part of their lives again.  It’s a miracle.  I also love seeing pictures and updates on students of mine past and present – and our wonderful family and close friends.

The problem comes when we listen to negative propaganda that claims that Facebook is the number one reason that marriages fail.  It is not because of Facebook, people.  It’s because people are flawed human beings.  If you are looking for that sort of thing – you can find it and not just on social networking.  Facebook is simply a tool.  It’s neutral.  Neither positive or negative.  If you want to message someone and have private conversations you can do this on Facebook – just like you can also do that on email or by regular mail, texting and cell phone calls.  Like any other resource and tool – it needs to be used wisely – not blamed when you or others mess up.

I believe Facebook can and should be used for good.  You can be an encourager.  You can be that positive role model – spreading around joy and hope for others.  You can use humor as a great way of relieving stress in everyday life.  And you can share pictures and updates in a way that build up – not tear down.  But most of all – you can stay connected to those that are a real part of your life.

Now I know what some of you are going to say.  “There’s so much drama and negative stuff on Facebook now – and what about those political opinions from those VERY VOCAL and opinionated!”  And ALL THOSE GAME REQUESTS!!!!  Here is what I do.  I don’t get involved in politics on Facebook.  You can’t win.  If I feel that someone is being too vocal on certain subjects and I’m uncomfortable – I just go to the home page and click the “x” on the right side of the comment.  This gives me the option of seeing any more comments from them.  It has cleaned up many things on my home page – so I simply don’t see the negative, inappropriate and the unnecessary.  I block any game request I don’t want or remove the app altogether.  I also clean up my friend list once in a while too – I simply don’t connect with everyone on my list and so I remove them.  When that is not an option – the “hiding” of their comments is better for me.

Here’s another thing I’ve done lately.  I’ve put the ones I talk to and connect with most often in a “list” called “close friends”.  I have another one for “Current students”  “Church friends” “Family” etc.  Instead of having my regular “News Feed” on my home page – I just pull up the list that I want and write a status update so that those people on my list are the only ones who see what I write.  This works great for me getting messages to my students without having to write a private message.  I also only “friend” people that I know.  This is a HUGE bonus.  If someone requests me that I don’t – I will not friend them unless it is a friend of a student or a friend of a friend.  If people from my past make me uncomfortable and try to friend me – I just don’t accept.  There’s no fear here – I am in control of who I talk to and let into my world.

Another blessing has been the ability to promote my music studio by having a “fan page” just for that purpose.  I show photos and videos of past recitals and the students who are involved with taking music lessons.  It is a great link to my actual website – since so many people are now on Facebook.

If you’re reading this and have done some of the status updates that I’ve mentioned above – those that would try to “convict” and “moralize” something that you feel strongly about – here’s what you could do next time.  Simply disconnect with others that are making you feel this way, unfriend those that need to be unfriended and if you are really having trouble with being disciplined with your time you spend – instead of making a statement about that – just walk away for a while.  You don’t need to tell anyone – or find excuses for why you’re leaving – because you are going to find that most people on Facebook really love what they’re doing – and the people who they’re connected with.  And making people feel bad should never be a conscious decision.   Being positive and allowing others to be who they are – is always a better choice.  

I’m hoping you will join me in using something so wonderful – a vehicle for staying connected with others – for good.

 

God Bless

Yes I Really Do Have 700 Friends On Facebook

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

The other day I attempted to “cut my friend list” on facebook.  You know how it goes – you have an account for a while, and pretty soon people just start “appearing” on your friend list until you have near 1000 people!  This happened to me a few years ago.  I heard the snickers and taunts from my other facebook friends, “no one has 100o friends!” and set out to cut it back and only have people there I actually knew in person and had a connection with.

That was 2 or 3 years ago.  Then over time it crept up again as I slowly added those that were “late adopters” in joining the social media world.  Students, former students and people I had a relationship with on some level all came on board and asked to “friend” me.  Usually I did – because I knew them, or a friend knew them.

And like you, I have also been forced to eliminate some who I don’t need to be seeing every little thing they do, have contact with – or who for some reason have made me feel uncomfortable by status updates, pictures and comments.  And some people I do not feel comfortable with them seeing every little thing about me either.  But luckily this number is very small.

The other day I noticed my numbers were climbing up there again.  “NO ONE has 800 or 1000 close friends”, I said to myself.  I went through my list of “friends” and started eliminating based on whether or not I ever had a conversation with them.  As I was cutting back my list – I noticed something.  Most of these people are students, former students, past ministry life, or current friendships and church connections.  And because I love being connected with those I have had a part in the investing process – I don’t want to cut it loose.  Students grow up, get jobs, get married and have children – how much I would miss if I didn’t have them on facebook.

I guess the bottom line is this:

Yes I REALLY DO have 700 friends in my life.  I would not have known that until I went to look at them closely, individually, one by one.  Each face is a reminder of an event in both our lives that made that special connection.  Some are people I know only through the blogging community and many of them I have been able to talk with on Skype, although I have not met them in person.  They are daily contributors to my world of writing – and we have a common faith in Jesus Christ.

For those of you who are not aware who is on your friend list – I encourage you to do the same thing.  Look at your list and for each person you keep, remember why they are in your life and what brought you to this point in time.

I love making new friends – but mostly the people who I remain in contact with are the relationships that have stood the test of time and have meaning in my life today.

I am thankful for facebook.  It has allowed me to stay in touch and be a part of those I love as we share pictures, love and laughter together, encouraging and praying for each other – it helps to fill in those times when we can’t be together in person 🙂

As a teacher – facebook has been a great tool for keeping students and parents informed.  I have a page for my music studio as well as one for my blog.  These have both been great tools of communication!

And I’m a sucker for former and current students “dropping by” my page and saying “hello” to me 🙂

How many “friends” do you have on facebook?

God Bless

Blog Sharing Friday

Today I have three more AWESOME blogging buddies to share with you.

1. Duane Scott of Duane Scott-Scribing The Journey is someone I met on google+ and twitter. He’s a really gifted writer and someone who has become a friend as well. You will love the way he describes everyday things in life – along his own personal journey with his “southern gal” and his cute little puppy, Mr. Watson.  Duane is young enough to be my son – but feels in every way like a contemporary and a real friend.  It just goes to show that age really doesn’t matter – it is the connection of the heart that bonds people in friendship – and there are many “kindred spirits” out there – if we take the time to discover them. Duane is one of those.

2. Keri Welch of Pop Parables is someone I also met online through twitter.  She had just written a blog about Lady Gaga and I found it very interesting and have been a regular reader since then.  She also lives here in the Great Northwest – not far from where I live, and a trip is being planned where all of us who live here can all get together in October.  We are the #WestCoastNinjas 🙂  Keri is someone of deep faith and it pours out through her writings.  Always well read and prepared for any subject, she is engaged and careful to always return discussion questions on each of her articles.  She has a great sense of humor and it flows easily in her comments to others.  Keri is someone I am proud to call friend and can’t wait to meet in person 🙂

3. Alise Wright of Alise…Write! is another gifted writer that I know through twitter and other people who have featured her writings on their blog sites.  Always pleasant and full of fun – Alise writes of her daily journey in a humorous way, both charming and engaging.  Alise is also a musician, so we have that in common 🙂  I am absolutely BUMMED that I cannot add her RSS Live Feed to the right side of my page – and have had a couple of discussions with her on this very subject!  We’ve both agreed that my blog must not like her website – or her website must not like wordpress or some such nonsense – but no matter – I LIKE HER – so that’s all that matters!  I follow her on facebook and twitter so I will know when she has another great article to read – along with Duane and Keri – and they all have pages for their blog sites – look them up!

I hope that you will check out these three blog sites and follow them – they will BLESS YOU!

For more awesome blogs that I have featured in past weeks – please check out the attached articles below.

Have an awesome Friday!  God Bless

Blog Sharing Friday

Friends

Image via Wikipedia

As part of my Friday tradition over the last month or so – I have 3 more fantastic people to share with you – I hope you will take a look at their blog sites – and you will be daily inspired as I am.  Here they are in no particular order:

1) Moe Vivas – the owner and author of  Beta Christian  I have only known Moe a short time via twitter and our blog sites – I have never met him in person – I live on the West Coast and he is from New York – but I have enjoyed his wit and humor – and his very deep and spiritual blog articles.  He is a daily presence in the blogging world and on my blog and social media – and I’ve come to enjoy talking with him and sensing his deep commitment to Christ and to other believers.  Check out his series on “American Idols” and “The Usual Suspects” – on various Bible Characters.

2) Michael Perkins – the owner and author of  Untitled by Michael Perkins.  I have known Michael the same amount of time – through twitter and his blog site.  He is the one who designed my blog Logo at the top of this page – and has a business doing web design called  Epic Elephant Designs.  Michael is a pastor and friend to many and I have been inspired by his giving nature – the mark of a true Christ follower.  He is a daily presence in the blogging world and here on my site as well as in all social media.  I know you will be inspired and blessed by reading his articles.

3)  Dustin Valencia – owner and author of  the Abraham Chronicles.  Dustin and I have never met in person either – he is someone who I found through someone elses blog site – but once I landed there – I never left and daily read his articles which are both humorous and inspiring with relevant content.  Dustin is also a daily presence in the blogging community and my blog site as well as other social media.  You will enjoy his humor and down-to-earth way of expressing himself and relating to the world around him – as well as deeply caring for others in his world.

 

I have many more blogging buddies to share – and will try to share 3 each Friday.  I know you will be blessed by the 3 I mentioned above.

 

Have a wonderful weekend and God Bless!

The Secret Of Doing Life Together (Featured on Some Wise Guy)

Today I have the awesome privilege of being featured as a guest blogger for K.C. Procter’s Blog – called Some Wise Guy.  I am always honored when other people read my “stuff” and see something worthy in it – what a surprise to me to say the least!  I wrote this specifically for his blog after some helpful ideas of what he wanted – and since he is featuring women for the month of May – I happily indulged him with an article about “The Secret of Doing Life Together”  about my awesome husband Greg.  I hope you will also visit Some Wise Guy to see it there and other great articles on his site. 

About ThatGuyKC: Father, husband, bible-thumping ninja, mac user, aspiring tentblogger, MBA student, cubicle dweller and frequent abuser of Twitter & Facebook.

My husband, Greg and I have been married for almost 30 years. That is a long time – especially in this day and age. Our happy marriage has not come without some conflict and adjustment along the way. In fact, I used to believe that having disagreements and points of discussion was not healthy – but now I can see that I was wrong.  Read More Here

A Funny Guest Post From KC Procter

I read something today that was just hilarious.  It is from my new online friend and blogging buddy,  KC Procter.  KC manages a couple of blog sites – is a happy husband and father of two – is busy finishing up some schooling to become an MBA and is active in social networking.  I have enjoyed his humorous take on life and in his many ‘tweets’ and comments.  I would encourage you to check out this blog called “Some Wise Guy” – and in particular the article he wrote today –3 Kid Words Dads Accidentally Say At The Office .  It is about using ‘kid’ words after we’re grown-up – come on – we ALL do it!  If you need a good laugh today – read the article that he wrote and the comments too – it will make your day!

And be sure and add KC to your blog roll – you will enjoy his articles!

God Bless!

The Future Of Social Networking

I just read an article and watched a really cool video showing the future of social networking on my friend David Mile’s blog.  David has a wonderful and innovative blog site and I encourage you to check it out!  David is a former staff buddy who served alongside my husband at New Life Church in Renton, Washington.  He is fun, quick and full of great ideas.  He has a beautiful wife and a new baby girl – and it is fun to read his blog about his experiences about being a new father.  It is also fun picking his brain and seeing what other ideas he can come up with!  The church where he now serves, Maple Valley Presbyterian – is lucky to have him 🙂

I have been increasingly frustrated with some social networking – and would LOVE to have it be more like what is presented in the video on David’s blog.  This is MY kind of future!!

I love facebook because of the interaction. I have a regular group of friends and we communicate almost everyday – share jokes, pictures, links and laughs.  If you are one of those newer “facebookers” and have about 10 friends – and I am one of them – you will see me a lot on your home page – because I am talking and communicating with friends.  It will look to you like I am talking to myself to just hear myself talk – or something equally ridiculous.  I’ve actually had people with a few friends say to me, “You’re on ALL THE TIME”  or, “I know EVERYTHING about you”  which of course is silly and not true.  I am on facebook to connect with others and to have fun, sure – but it is NOT just ME out there.  Now if you have several hundred people on your friend list then my comment are very seldom. And almost non-detectable to most on my list.  It’s all in your lens and how you view social networking.  It is simply a tool – used to connect.  I can tell you that I’ve found hundreds of people from places and situations where my husband and I  have lived all over the country – and it is so fun to share life with them again – where it would not be possible any other way.

Skype is also great!  I talk to my parents on this fairly often even though they only live about 25 minutes from me.  It puts a face with the conversation and makes it feel like you’re right in the same room.  My Mother loves this 🙂  I have other friends from different parts of the world too – and it’s been great to actually see them real-time and have a conversation – I love this!

As a person who has a business – it has been really great for me to stay connected with students and teachers through a website and facebook page.  I love knowing what is going on with my students and be able to connect and communicate such things as upcoming events and schedule changes – as well as fun music I want them to see – or past recital performances to inspire!

I’m still getting used to twitter and can’t say that I love it.  I know that everyone else DOES.  It puzzles me more than anything.  Here’s what I don’t like:  People just spewing out random little “nothings” about every 2 minutes or so.  Now to be fair – I found out from my friend and fellow “Twitteror” Deanna, that  people have apps that run all these random little “nothings” for them – so they don’t have to actually do anything themselves – all work is done for them.  It makes them appear plugged in and engaged in social media – when they aren’t even there. Pretty crazy.  I’m kinda wondering, “what’s the point”?  And as far as connecting with others in the music profession like myself?  Blah.  Nobody takes the time to answer questions on twitter.  I can reply – retweet and follow those I think will have helpful tips and be able to share education experiences – and I’ve come up with MANY dead ends on this.  Most will NEVER ever reply to me.  Following a blog is a WAY better idea.

Which brings us to blogging.  This is probably my favorite social networking of any of them – and I belong to them all – even Linkedin, Stumbleupon, Reddit and Digg.  Blogging brings people together in a very specific way – those that are on your same journey.  There’s something powerful about that.  At least for me.  I started this blog site a little over 2 years ago because I felt the need to express myself and thoughts through writing.  The site was really just for me – but it’s turned into way more than I ever thought and the Lord used it in a mighty way that blows my mind.  I’ve even been on the radio talking about it my blog and blogging in general – as well as being a “guest blogger” on many different blog sites.  It’s humbling to say the least – I never thought that my words or thoughts could be so powerful in motivating and encouraging others – but they have been and I thank God for that because that’s all I ever want to be – a blessing to others.  I get private emails all the time expressing how my writing of a particular article is just for them – it’s really wonderful to hear.  I can’t tell you how many friends I’ve gained by blogging – just look at my blogroll and RSS feed and you’ll see the friends and people who have influenced me and literally rock my daily world. I’m proud to call each of them friend.

Now there is a secret with blogging that some of us understand.  I’m going to let you in on it too – if you are reading this and contemplating a blog site for yourself or you want to gain more readers.  You have to take the initiative.   You have to be a presence on their blog site.  This takes focus and is a time commitment on your part – but it’s well worth it.  Decide who you want to invest in – and then be there – make a contribution by commenting.  It should be returned – but sadly, it isn’t always.  Be the one to leave the comments as  a courtesy and eventually they will follow your example.  Is this always easy to do?  No.  I follow about 10 or so blogs consistently and it does take time – but the relationship and contribution through blogging is invaluable and you can’t find that elsewhere – so it is worth investing in.  Women are better at this than men – and I don’t hold it against my guy friends who don’t always contribute to my blog – they simply are just not able to with time constraints and let’s face it – men don’t need to connect like women do – so go easy on them.  They are still reading your blog 🙂

Just don’t be one of those that thinks, “If I comment on their blog – no one will want to visit and comment on my blog anymore”  You couldn’t be MORE WRONG.  Change your attitude and decide to be the positive and encouraging word for them.  You may literally change a bad day.  And be the reason that they keep writing.

Click here to see the video “A Day Made Of Glass” to see all the future possibilities in store for us!  And thanks to my friend, David for posting this today!

God Bless

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