Facebook vs Blog

I guess I’m not alone in being a weaker blogger because of Facebook. For me, it’s a sense of communication: blogs are big, silent things which only “talk back to you” when you get some comments. Comments are the payback of blogging frequency. The strength of blogging is that it provides a chance to really think, rather than just making a lighthearted comment or contributing to a string of comments. Blogging potentially offers depth, but the cost is that you have to think of something to blog about. It’s a discipline.

Facebook is another approach to communication: quick bursts (though not as short and quick as Twitter) which invite responses from shared friends or extended friends-of-friends. Facebook is a sequence of short, brief re-encounters. But I am left thirsting for meaning. True, there’s no discipline required: just a random dip into the hubbub of communication. It’s a more effective way of staying in basic contact with your friends, with instant feedback. But the cost is depth.

My blogging frequency has been affected over the past two years by life events (two job changes) and the arrival of Facebook in my life. But after two years on the thing, I am missing something of the discipline of structuring my throughts. So here’s the first blog post for a while.

I also want to find a way to share various thoughts and discoveries with students and friends who are interested in listening/conversing. With blogging, you have to imagine a kind of “audience” which relates to the current construction of “you”. Well, I think that both I and the potential audience have changed over the past couple of years. I am no longer a full-time parish priest. I’m a lecturer in worship again. And the context of thought (and my half-imagined “audience”) has changed also. When I started the blog, the whole Emerging Church phenomenon was running high and blogging was one of the best ways of engaging in the conversation. That has changed – and some perspective from me on what that change is is more than overdue. Also, I am no longer in a position to provide live perspective on parish ministry from my immediate experience.

Yet on more than one occasion over the past few months, I have detected within myself the desire to share some thoughts with a certain body of readers: both students (past/present) and others. I’ve wondered about starting a new blog, but I’m rather nostalgic about this one. So here’s a few posts and references for you.

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3 replies on “Facebook vs Blog”

  1. There is also something to be said for someone like me who can be long winded and convoluted at the best of times to practice the discipline of getting thoughts and ideas into 140 characters! It helps keep essays to the word count anyway 😉

  2. Paul, I am glad that you have returned to your blog becuase I will not register for a facebook account. You will understand why. Hope you are well.

  3. My blog has been woefully neglected since joining Facebook. But, as you say, there is a discipline about blogging which focusses the mind. Inspiring.

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