It's Friday, which as you know allows for a certain latitude to talk about things that might be off the beaten path or might be a little weird or strange. Previously, Friday gave us the chance to discuss Rebecca Black's catapult in viral stardom. This week, the Friday Find is still odd, but contains much weightier implications.
This Friday is not just any old Friday, but it is the kick off of Easter weekend. In Christianity, of course, this weekend is the celebration of Christ's crucifixion and eventual resurrection and ascension into heaven. Whether it was planned or a coincidence, This Week's Christiane Amanpour sat down with the Reverend Franklin Graham, son of legendary evangelist Billy Graham. The topics of social media and the second coming of Christ were among those discussed.
Rev. Graham said that social media could have a big part in the second coming of Christ.
"How is the whole world going to see [Jesus Christ] all at one time? I don't know, unless all of a sudden everybody's taking pictures and it's on the media worldwide. I don't know. Social media could have a big part in that."
He also mentioned Egypt and Libya as examples of how social media can inform the world of events happening far away.
"Everybody's got their phone up and everybody's taking recordings and posting it on YouTube and whatever and sending it to you, and it gets shown around the world."
Now, putting your personal religious affiliations (or lack thereof) aside, the Reverend makes an interesting point. Though the idea of twitpics of Jesus Christ's descent from the heavens and status updates (zOMG! RU serious?!? Jesus iz back! - 145,133 likes) chronicling the event seem silly, you can't deny that the Reverend's implication about social media is in essence spot on.
Honestly, there is no event nowadays that is too big or deemed too important for social media. Literal blood was being shed on the streets of Egypt and peoples' first response was to upload the videos to YouTube and Tweet about it.
Would the end times be immune to Facebook and Twitter? I bet not.
Speaking of revolution, Susan Milligan at US News & World Report has an interesting view on the role social media plays in large scale global events. She asks us to stop glorifying the platform, and start glorifying the people.
The sites are organizing tools, and are undeniably great at that. They can connect people who otherwise might be afraid to seek each other out to join in a courageous movement for change. In my childhood, we had phone trees--you had a list, and you called the next person on the list, and that person called the next one in line. It was primitive, and had its inherent flaws; it took just one person to drop the ball to make the whole idea fall apart. Facebook and Twitter and the like are far more efficient at organizing people, no doubt about it.
But you still have to show up.
Very true. And if the rapture is covered by all the amateur reporters that social media has spawned, I'm sure that Jesus Christ will be the main focus, not Facebook.