Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What does swimming have to do with Facebook?

Today, I achieved a goal that I set a few years ago.  I live in a neighborhood that has a small lake and I clearly remember the first time visiting the lake and thinking, "I want to swim across this lake!"  The swim is approximately 1/2 mile from the dock at one beach to the far beach on the other side (1 mile total for a round-trip).

I have made multiple attempts at swimming in the lake in order to build up my ability to swim the entire length.  Each time, however, I stopped swimming and went on to something else (trail running, lifting, eating potato chips and watching Sportscenter)...

That changed this week.

I decided to go for a swim on Monday and I was able to make it 1/2 way across the lake.  I decided to post an update on Facebook and some friends from multiple chapters of my life made comments.  The one comment that  immediately caught my attention referred to a swimming rival that I had in high school.  This rival was a female swimmer who beat me in every event during every co-ed swim meet.  I clearly remember my friends making fun of me for always (and I mean ALWAYS) losing to her.

The comment on my Facebook wall that caught my attention said something along the lines of "If you can't swim the rest of the way, then everybody knows that she [real name used in the comment] can!"

My competitive juices ignited.

I swam 3/4 of the way the next day.  The day after (today), I finished the job and swam all the way to the other side and back (approximately 1 mile long total).

I had attempted to swim the entire way multiple times during the past 3 years but I didn't make it until today.   Needless to say, I would not have made it apart from the extra motivation provided from a simple Facebook comment that brought back many memories of being embarrassed in swimming pools across north Jersey in 1992-1994...

Facebook continues to amaze me.  I truly am astounded by the fact that individuals from multiple chapters of my life can intersect in one place and interact over current events in my life.

In this case, that intersection provided the motivation to finish the job and swim the entire length of the lake!

Thank you Zuckerberg for creating Facebook!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

500 Million Stories

I started reading "The Facebook Effect" tonight and I am looking forward to engaging the story of Facebook.

I clearly remember being invited to join Facebook in late 2006 while I was at Princeton Theological Seminary. I recall how impressed I was by the simplicity of the user interface and the consistency of the experience. I did not feel lost in a jungle like I did when I clicked into myspace.

Since then, I have maintained a fairly consistent interaction with Facebook. I have gone through the oft-repeated ups and downs of engagement but I always have returned. I still have not located the "best" use of Facebook for churches and that will be an ongoing project. I am convinced that Facebook can network individuals in the body of Christ to engage our culture with the love of Christ in a way that goes beyond being another announcement mechanism for over-programmed churches.

I have yet to see anyone do this effectively however...

I located Mark Zuckerberg's page and I read his self-description, "I'm trying to make the world a more open place by helping people connect and share."

I was struck by the simplicity of his "mission statement." I should seek the same simplicity in my life and go after it. That is a subject for another day.

Until then, I am going to keep reading this book on Facebook and see if I encounter any new revelations about the platform/application/phenomenon that has captured the attention of 500 million users and stories in the world.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Classic Post

This is my "I haven't posted in a zillion years" post.

I haven't because I thought that I would capture short thoughts on twitter. I did that for awhile and I still drop a thought here or there via twitter.

I am looking to come back to this blog in late September after I transition to Virginia. I realized from scanning this blog that blogging helps me to slow down and put my thoughts and feelings together in a post.

As always, the vision and intention can be strong but the execution may be weak. Let's see if I write again in September...