Fr. Rodderick, of SQPN fame, is down in Melbourne organizing and presenting at the Catholic New Media Conference. Today at the conference, he shared his and Ryan Eggenberger’s tips for interacting on Twitter and Facebook. Here is a sampling from the extensive list:
- Do not engage in social networks where you are not planning to really interact there.
- Be personal. Don’t hide behind a veil of anonymity. Comment. Wish people a happy birthday. Perform random acts of kindness.
- Diversify your content and form (Facebook algorithm)
- The Bambi advice: when Thumper is making fun of clumsy Bambi, his mother tells him: “If you can’t say something nice… don’t say nothing at all”. (about others, when reacting to complaints or angry comments etc.)
- Only befriend people you really know, don’t follow back blindly. Limit yourself to a few hundred people.
I highly recommend taking a look at the rest of the list. Not only does Fr. Roderick provide good pointers on interacting with others on social media, many of the points can be applied to “real life” as well.
As Pope John Paul II reminded us in his beginning of his letter Novo Millennio Inuente (At the Beginning of the Third Millennium), we must be bold and “put out into the deep” (Luke 5:4). This includes reaching out with social media, and other new and perhaps unknown forms of technology, in order to spread the Good News.
Fr. Roderick’s list, however, takes all of this a step further: I see in his Social Media 2.0 tips not only evangelizing in word, but in action as well. After all, what we post on Facebook and in other places will hold no weight if we do not back it all up with solid actions. This means treating others with respect, knowing how to use those networks properly, and keeping in mind things such as etiquette and privacy. If we back up our words with solid actions, informed by the Gospel, both our words and actions will carry much more wieght, both in the social media networks themselves, as well as in so-called “real life” social interactions.
Pax et bonum.
PS: Please also see my recent admin note.