Tuesday, March 20, 2012
use of social media ministry learnings from Kony12
The last few weeks in class (Reading Cultures/Sociology for Ministry) has been focused on contemporary global cultures. Last week, a student asked about the Kony viral video campaign. It seemed a case study worth processing as a class, as it was so current, and yet raised so many questions about the use of social media to bring about change.
So the class were invited to view the video for “homework.” Upon return today, I invited them to choose a place on a continuum, from “it was not right” to “great use of social media.” This produced a great discussion with those on opposite ends of the spectrum making some really insightful observations.
To help ground the discussion, I reminded the class that our aim is to help churches think about being part of effective change. And at some point, a church might want to get involved in social media. So, what might we learn from the Kony campaign.
Here is the list we created: things to consider if you’re thinking about using social media.
- It can be highly, highly impacting
- It can have real potential for educating, especially for a generation that doesn’t watch the television news
- Social media can emerge from anyone, especially from people with the right creative and media savvy skills
- Think about how you communicate. Media can be manipulative and abusive. Will you focus on head or heart? Will you try and be simple, or seek to nuance complexity?
- Consider the ethics of who you use, who you film and how you film them
- Reflect on whether your “author” and your “author’s life” is important to your story
- Social media can only be a starter. It needs to be supported by more information and next steps
- What you do can form a precedent
- Learn from other campaigns
- Be prepared for backlash
- You can’t control other users, and they can spin your campaign
What do you think? What else would you want to add?