Saturday, July 14, 2012

Review: Viral by Leonard Sweet

I'm part of an Online Outreach Ministry group at my church, and some of the members, including myself, have been reading Viral:How Social Networking is Poised to Ignite Revival by Leonard Sweet . Viral looks at the differences between  Googlers  and  Gutenbergers    ; a distinction that frequently but not always refers to people born around 1973- when the mobile phone entered public use- and those born before. I was born on the cusp-  in late 1972- and have chosen the Googler side of that cusp for many years.The relationships I've built online have been a source of great joy and support for me; many of my "real life" relationships with friends and family have been enriched by social media in ways that they never have before.
We are at a time in our society when the differences between these two cultural types can cause discord in general society, in faith life, and in relationships. These differences pose a real threat to The Church; most congregations will tend toward a Gutenberger leadership, with an old guard that fears change and has the power to quash it. The fact is that we live in a swiftly changing world, and we- as both people and the Church- MUST adapt. I feel that this is a valuable book not just for Christians of the Googler culture, but for those who want to understand them (especially the Gutenbergers in their lives!), or those who want a deeper understanding of social media in our world.


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