Facebook Will Reach 500 Million Users This Week: What Does This Mean?
My first computer was a Macintosh IIc, which my wife and I purchased just before I started my vicarage in 1986. Oh, how I loved that little machine. I taught myself “basic” just enough to wow and amaze myself with my programming prowess, which means, I could hardly do anything. Then I learned how to program in hypertext, and had fun modifying some hypertext desktops for myself. Wow, amazing. In the next year, we purchased a Macintosh SE, and at that point, I started using “e-mail” and got on Genie as our Internet service. There were a few forums. It was all very primitive. Then, when I moved down to St. Louis to serve as an assistant to the president, e-mail became more widely used. But, the majority of all contacts made with the President’s Office were still in the form of paper letters. I had to learn how to use a dictating machine and I had a secretary who helped me assist Dr. Barry with the voluminous amounts of letters we received every week. Dr. Barry made it a point, personally, to read and review and sign every letter/answer we sent. Nothing left the office without his attention. Stacks of letters. Every week. There were e-mails, but they were few compared to the letters.
Fast forward to today.
Now, if I receive two letters, a week, that’s unusual. Junk mail? Sure, loads of it. People using actual physical letters to communicate? Rare, very rare. It’s all e-mail, well, only sort of. Enter Facebook. I would say that 30-35% of contacts I receive are coming through via Facebook, and because anyone can send you a message on Facebook, “friend” or not, anyone using Facebook can send you a message. But there’s something more about Facebook, the contacts are much more personal, conversational, relational. Facebook has revolutionized the nature of communications via the Internet. It is like having a friendly phone chat, much more than any other communication medium has been.
All of which is to say, this week Facebook will hit 500 Million Users. Read that again. 500 million. Again, my respectful encouragement is for pastors to incorporate Facebook into how they communicate and as a way to reach people.