Posts tagged Facebook
Posts tagged Facebook
HOW THE NEW FACEBOOK CHANGES IMPACT YOUTH WORK
This past week at the f8 conference facebook rolled out new changes for their social networking platform. Timelines are the most noticeable change but the one change that is of greatest significance is the adaptation of the “like” button. So let me explain this for those in youth advocacy or youth ministry.
In the past, your students, yourself, and others when prompted to share or like content online would be confronted with a “one click” button to distribute information to friends on facebook from a site. You could repeatedly visit that site over and over again sharing only the content you wanted. But what you will see over time is that more and more apps, sites, and content creators will prompt you and your students to not “like” one time but “like” and “share” permanently. It’s an on/off switch for your online and mobile activity.
You see this most noticeably in the music application. I have been using the new profile since Friday and what has happened is that while I listened to spotify every single song I played was shared on my profile so my friends could listen to what I was listening to. Yes, I was asked if I wanted to do this. Do you see the difference? It will become more of what I’m actually doing as opposed to proclaiming what I like to do.
“Chad is on his kindle reading, Les Miserables.”
“Chad is on crazymonkeygames playing Box-head Zombie Wars.”
“Chad is on the 9th tee and just went 5 over par at the 8th at the Firewheel Golf Course.”
“David just went to relevant youth group and opted to do service project #2 after the talk.”
THIS IS A SOCIAL NETWORKING SHIFT
More and more of your life will be shared online with less and less of management.
Techcrunch put it this way;
There’s one massive problem in the social space: everyone is competing for the same user time. But most services compete by piling on features that erode that time even quicker. They’re offering up services that if I use, it means I’ll have even less time to actually enjoy life. That’s not a sustainable model. Being “social” online has become far too much work.
So, Facebook will begin to become an extension in the background of your life as you do life so that you don’t have to manage your network. Creepy, yes, but easy and natural.
Now, more than ever, influence will drive purchasing power and choice. The social currency of trends will happen so fast and in such a prolific way that the places, preferences, and activities of your students will be coveted and collected as information for the continued monetizing of every social aspect of their life. Facebook with it’s ginormous user base has become the spicket that apps will want to drink from for the escalation of their goods and services. Your students influence will be measured and sought in public and also undisclosed ways. Think of “Klout” but in means yet really imagined for your life.
So a few implications…
- You must work harder at creating an environment where students can come as they are and be accepted for who they are while still maintaining your group’s message and motivation for mission. You’re going to see more than you may be ready for or want to see. This cannot become cause to categorize or judge your students as their activities become more accessible to you.
- You have no more excuses. You have this amazing opportunity to see what is culturally relevant and frequented by your students in ways that can be leveraged to your advantage. Don’t creep but at the same time don’t shun.
- You may have to rethink the group fanpage. The fanpage has become a glorified business card instead of a share point. If the content you create in your group can be distributed in and thru an app or service so it’s an extension of their life you will create more networking awareness as opposed to simply getting one time “likes.” Example: “Sally Student” is listening to “Relevant Groups” Saturday night conversation on Spotify. Make sense?
- You will have to make new choices as the changes evolve as to how you and your leaders share so that your privileges and adult life are not a detriment to your students trajectory.
- I think you will also see students, aware of the changes, and peeling away networking connection that are invasive to their need for guarded privacy away from authority’s eyes. Tumblr, skype, and texting will become even more attractive to them as places where they can express but not be socially excavated.
So with all that’s been said we are headed to a place where relationships and face to face moments will be even more important. At the same time, the power of influence at your disposal through Facebook will need to be revamped and re-visited because it’s no longer a powerful tool for the way that it has been in the past. The fanpage and the one time “like” are going to have less and less steam.
Watch carefully how MTV, ESPN, retailers, and publishers react not for reasons pertaining to their message but to their mode of communication. Your message, as important as it is, merits your willingness to adapt and get educated as this new shift plays out. Once again we cannot be content to remain in the past even if the past is just two to three years ago.
This story is simple. 20,000 Facebook users are kicked off every day for being under age and have lied about how old they are. In many middle school ministries, Facebook has become a tool for spreading the word about activities - and can be extremely effective as youth take ownership. But what if your kids are 11 and 12 years old?
In order to use Facebook you have to be 13 years old. But Preteens love Facebook since it allows them a step up from texting each other. They can post content, comment on it, and even argue or post rants about each other. Sometimes it can be real mean. Sometimes it can be amazingly insightful. But with this age group - they have all had to tell a little white lie about their age.
How does the Youth Minister handle this? We can just not encourage it, but accept that the kids are already there. The problem is that if you know the families well you will eventually have to tell the parents you have seen their kid on facebook. If the parent doesn’t know this is complicated. If the parent knows - do you tell them about the age limit? They may not be aware. Kids learn to lie in small ways, like when a parent lies about not being home to not have to talk to a bill collector or someone they are avoiding. As role models, we need to uphold a right lifestyle, and little white lies often have very little consequence but the youth need to process what they are doing.
Perhaps this doesn’t have the monetary ramifications of music file downloading on Napster back in the day - but I remember being a teen and downloading music. We knew it was wrong but it was easy to do and our parents didn’t really understand what was happening. Regardless, it was still illegal and eventually we had to talk about it among ourselves and figure out how we felt about it. Adults around us didn’t directly intervene but did tell us that it was wrong. Now we all tend towards Itunes because we had the conversation.
Perhaps you need to find a suave way to bring this up with one or two of your youth. You might be surprised at how receptive they are to your message if you’re not judgmental and just looking after their interests and safety. But if they don’t immediately heed your words - look out for them, and see if there is a way to bring the parents into the conversation. There’s a lot of messed up stuff online and the young need boundaries and people to supervise so they don’t get into trouble. They don’t do boundaries very well on their own. Good luck!
In Egypt one of the big bylines is that the government (having heard about Twitter and Facebook’s role in Tunisia’s revolution) has turned off the Internet. The internet doesn’t seem like much to free folk like us, but what about when every other form of spreading ideas has been controlled or shut down? This is an excellent segway into talking about all basic human rights in a way that is relevant, and kids holding their phones clutched in their hands would understand. Read more here.
Found this thanks to @MarkMatlock from the Radical Parenting Blog. There are some interesting percentages about what teens think is cool and not cool in dating concerning Facebook:
1. Adding a new crush as a friend = 1 week after meeting (79% of teens)
2. Stalking their new crush’s profile = Once per day after adding them as a friend (60% of people, but 40% check in on their crush several times a day).
3. Deciding to date = 43% of girls would decide not to date someone based on their Facebook profile, compared to 33% of guys.
4. Deciding to announce their new gf/bf = 17% of guys don’t share their status, compared to 12% of girls. (50% of girls get a kick out of the status change — one-third of guys agree; 24% of guys find it unnecessary, compared to 17% of girls.)
5. Breaking up = 10% of people have been dumped over Facebook. (73% of people keep their exes as friends.)
As Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr become places that teens congregate online, relationships were bound to be effected by this interaction. Much like when teens used to tie up the family phone lines for hours talking with their crushes and then calling their friends to talk about their phone talk with crushes (breath) - they now use social media to stay connected even longer and perhaps more “stalker” like than ever.
As a youth minister on Facebook, you probably get invites from your youth to “SEE WHO’S STALKING YOU.” Flat out - Its a scam. These applications are trying to get data from your kids (and everyone) ultimately trying to hack their accounts to push spam out to your kids friends (who are also vulnerable). Click the title to jump to Ars’ full article. Its good to know, and you can tell your students what’s up. You may be sophisticated to know when your friends are hacked, but are your kids?
Some Excerpts from The New York Times “110 Things New Yorkers Talked About” that pertain to Youth Ministry:
8. Justin Bieber gets a new haircut.
18. Willow Smith, the daughter of Will Smith, and her “Whip My Hair” video.
20. Kanye’s Twitter posts.
83. Justin Timberlake in “The Social Network.”
The main reason that I have heard from other youth ministers for not being on Facebook is “I tried it, but I saw crazy things about my youth, and so I deleted it.”
First of all, I think that deleting something because you saw too much is a bad excuse to delete. First of all, your youth need you there to remind them that they need to be civil no matter where they are. Social Profiles have been testing grounds for youth personality and identity for a while and you are a part of that process. By being a presence (and yes, doing the messy “I can’t believe you said that” conversations, you help teens integrate their online morality with their real world morality. You help them integrate all the different codes they maintain, and actually help them have less stress in their lives. Unfortunately not less stress for you, but that is what you signed up for. Get tough skin and jump back in.
Benefits of successful integration into your youth’s social network:
(A) You can promote events easily.
(B) You can plan events online through groups.
(C) Your youth talk with you, and you can do less home calls (I love that one).
(D) Kids start texting you after a while (and you know you’re loved then!)
(E) You see what their interests are and who they hang out with by what they “like” and comment on.
Ultimately, Facebook is a great communication tool when used right. Learn proper social network etiquette and teach it to your youth by role modeling it. Call them out in love (in a private message) when their out of hand, and be a presence for Good and represent the Kingdom of God online! It takes time and some sweat equity, but it is rewarding when it begins working right.