The Online Masquerade

by Brad Harmon on August 20, 2010 in Miscellany

woman's face in masquerade mask 600x360 | marketplace christianity

Photo courtesy of Flickr/pareeerica

The proliferation of social media on the internet has exploded at such a pace that many are still trying to catch up to it.  For better or worse, it’s changing the way millions of people interact every day.  Lately, I’ve been reading quite a bit from people who are starting to question if we’ve been to fast to adopt this new form of communication.

Is social media kicking down the walls we’ve built around ourselves to allow the true us to emerge from behind the safety of our monitors, or is it just one big masquerade ball where people invent who they want to be and live out that persona in a virtual world?  I suspect that the answer is both.

Weekly Link List for Week Ending, August 20, 2010

Here are some great posts I’ve found recently that talk about how social media is impacting our businesses, our lives, and our faith.

The 3 Big Questions of this Social Digital Age 600x360 | marketplace christianity

The 3 Big Questions of this Social, Digital Age

Brandon Cox discusses how he’s trying to handle all of the new content and relationships he’s found through social media.  In trying to come to grips with how social media has impacted his own life, he asks three questions that all of s should stop and ask ourselves.

new_media_and_the_local_church 569x315 | marketplace christianityNew Media and the Local Church

Collin Hansen talks about an interview he did with a local pastor who warned him that his popularity on the internet didn’t necessarily translate to his own real-life church.  How different is your real and virtual life?

redeeming social life online 600x360 | marketplace christianityRedeeming Social Life Online

Justin Buzzard examines both the good and the bad affects that Facebook can have on our lifestyle.  It’s the first post that I read that really started me thinking about how my own life was being unintentionally changed by social media as an early adopter.

you_say_god_is_dead_there's_an_app_for_that_600x360 | marketplace christianityYou Say God is Dead?  There’s an App for That

Paul Vitello writes in the New York Times about the role iPhone apps are playing in the debate over the existence of God.  When Peter wrote “to be ready to always give an answer to every man” in 1 Peter 3:15, I don’t think this is quite what he had in mind.

How has Social Media Impacted Your Life?

Have you thought about how your life has changed as a result of your use (or non-use) of social media?  How much time are you spending connecting virtually versus face-to-face?  Is this intentional?

We’d love to hear your experiences involving social media, and how you balance the real and virtual worlds of your life.

Photo Credit: Parée Erica under Creative Commons License

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Brandon Cox August 20, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Brad, thanks so much for highlighting my post. I do think the term “social media” will become obsolete, and thankfully so. What I mean is that the way we consume media is and will continue to be a social event. Too many people are wrapped up in the buzzwords and flashy tools. Social startups are a dime a dozen, but soon we’ll see the flashy tools lose their luster and what we’ll be left with is a new social era where real people just relate to each other… with some added channels in the mix.
Brandon Cox recently posted..The 3 Big Questions of this Social- Digital Age


Brad Harmon August 20, 2010 at 7:29 pm

My pleasure, Brandon. You and Justin have really started me thinking about what it means to be so connected through social media, and what impact that has on my life. I’ve tended to be an early adopter of new technologies without much thought of the ramifications. It would do us all good to ask your three questions and make sure the impact of social media is a deliberate one, balancing the real and virtual world.


Will August 21, 2010 at 6:51 am

Hi Brad,

Social media is a great opportunity that is being used by countless different people in many different ways, some good, some bad. It gives people the freedom to express their individuality, their message, their agenda – whatever that may be. Yes, it has changed so much — and definitely for the better I think.

Personally, I’m someone who has travelled quite a lot over the years and lived in many different places – so perhaps one of the nicest experiences has been the amazing number of people who have managed to track me down through Facebook etc. It’s fantastic that they have made contact again, sent such great messages ( often hilarious) and have let me know how their lives have developed. It’s not only been very interesting but also a wonderful surprise and a positive feeling.

Hope all goes well for my namesake schoolwise by the way

Best wishes & have a good weekend

Will recently posted..Noaspa News – 18082010


Brad Harmon August 22, 2010 at 2:23 pm

I think you’ve hit on one of the best features social media has to offer. It allows us to connect with people we would normally wouldn’t be able to interact with on a daily basis.

Thanks for the well wishes for my son.


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