There are so many groups and individuals who are working hard these days to make Brantford a great place to live. Last night I had the pleasure of speaking at the 2nd "Tweetstock" put on by a couple of old friends (who are now new friends) Lucas Duguid who runs an agency called Octopus Red and Trevor Cherewka who runs Tik Tok Media.
Social Media was the focus of the night and it allowed us to connect with other folks have a passion for communication in the city AND talk together about how it can most effectively be used in our culture.
When I mentioned that I was speaking about this, a friend asked me on Facebook if I was going to talk about how the medium is the message. He was referring to Marshall McLuhan's famous theory from his 1964 book "Understanding Media: The Extension of man".
Actually... I believe quite the opposite
Principally, I think "The Medium is the Message" is an acceptance of the weak mind of man and his inability to discern between the pedestrian medium and authority of “Message”. Communication DOES often play out this way so I get where he was going, but it's cynical, hopeless and gives undue weight to variables. The ultimate purpose of the communication is loftier.
Effective communication of truth does not make the truth any truer... it makes it easier to understand. "The medium is the message" is a carnival game barked by the medium-makers hoping rubes would buy it. But any prizes won at that ring toss were poorly made and had come apart at the seems by the time the carnival came to town again. Truth remains undisturbed by trends, waves and disposable mediums.
The reason I'm "involved" in social media is because there are REAL PEOPLE behind the computer screen. And it's my job as a Christian to communicate a message to them. And as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, we're supposed to GO and do just about anything to communicate this message to people of every kind!
"Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn't take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I've become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn't just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!"
The medium is unimportant... the Message is. When Phil Vischer (Creator of Veggie Tales) made his massive Jonah movie and it bankrupted Big Idea Productions... he learned a lot. And now with his Jellytelly.com website/ministry and a fresh philosophy/vision for communicating an old old story... great things are happening.
As Christians, we need to be platform agnostic: "No, I am not in the tv business or the internet business. I am in the content business." We need to get our content out in as many ways as possible. There are so many ways to transmit storytelling and teaching into a household, you can't say there is one way. They are all how we can reach people. It's an interesting and quite tumultuous time in media.
It's such and important thing (both in social media communication and life) to remember that you're telling a story with your life. In Don Miller's life-changing book "A million miles in a thousand years” he comes to the realization that, "A character is what a character does." And if you're not actually living a good story... you're boring.
"I've noticed something. I've never walked out of a meaningless movie thinking all movies are meaningless. I only thought the movie I walked out of was meaningless. I wonder then, if people say life is meaningless, what they really mean is THEIR lives are meaningless. I wonder if they've chosen to believe their whole existence is unremarkable, and are projecting their dreary life on the rest of us"
To communicate a good message with social media, you have to be living a good story. If you're boring... you won't engage almost anyone. It's not about the medium... it's about the message. And you're communicating SOME message to the world. What is message is your life telling?