Why are we so mean on Facebook?

We've all seen them. We've probably even participated in them. I'm referring to those conversations on Facebook, often about politics or religion, that quickly turn ugly as people begin sniping and snarking at each other. (And it's not just on Facebook: have you seen a YouTube comments section recently?)Why are we so mean on Facebook? Why do seemingly innocuous posts quickly get ugly, and why are people so quick to fan the flames? Why are we willing … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: What Your Facebook Likes Say about Jesus

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.What is it about that plucky, thumbs-up Like button? Facebook has taken a simple engagement tool and turned it into a marketer’s dream. With every click, we consumers are cataloging the businesses and brands we are partial to. And it’s so easy to do—just a click links us to something that charms us.However, our participation in this community-wide click-fest has given Facebook a stu … [Read more...]

The Minority Report: Facebook and The "Loneliest" Generation

Every few months an article comes out like this one by Stephen Marche of The Atlantic which asks "Is Facebook making us Lonely?" We know that Facebook is helping us connect with more and more people but fear its encouraging us to connect in more and more superficial ways. Could it be that we are experiencing an epidemic of loneliness despite all our connections? If so, it would follow that today's teenagers, who grew up with access to social media would be the loneliest generation ever. The … [Read more...]

The Minority Report: Mobile Manners

Every Tuesday in The Minority Report, Drew Dixon takes a look at trends in youth culture and offers some biblical wisdom for navigating them.I love Facebook, Twitter, and text messaging. I love having instant access to all three on my smart phone and yet sometimes I want to throw other people's phones across the room . . . or at least confiscate them for a time.Today's teens have grown up with cell phones and access to social media--most of them don't remember a time when no one had text … [Read more...]

The Minority Report: An Apology for the Other Trayvon Martin

Every Tuesday in The Minority Report, Drew Dixon takes a look at trends in youth culture and offers some biblical wisdom for navigating them.You don't know the other Trayvon Martin. You might know his picture was posted by thousands of people on Facebook because he was confused with the Trayvon Martin who was recently killed by George Zimmerman. All we know about the other Trayvon Martin is that he a 17 year old boy who happens to have a picture of himself in sagging pants throwing double … [Read more...]

What Memes Mean: Facebook Stocking Stuffers and Liking Things

Each Wednesday in What Memes Mean, Kirk Bozeman questions the significance, humor, and subtexts of viral videos, memes, and other Internet fads.If Black Friday didn’t hit you in the back of the head hard enough (I hear some people actually did come home with concussions this year, unfortunately), it’s time to wake up and start your Christmas shopping. NOW.If you’re desperately looking for Facebook-related stocking stuffers, you need look no further than the Like/Dislike rubber stamp set. It’s … [Read more...]

Social Media, Facebook Friends, and Why They Matter

You are probably on Facebook. If you are a Christian, you have probably felt guilty about the time you spend there. Perhaps because other Christians have said that Facebook is a waste of time or perhaps because you so often intend to sign in for a few minutes only to find yourself mindlessly flipping through photo albums of people you barely know. Social media has changed the way that people communicate, socialize, and build relationships. Thus groups like the International Center for Media and … [Read more...]

Your Status Update Is A Fire!

The Apostle James had great concern for the Jewish Christians to whom he wrote, primarily that they would not be hearers of the Word of God only. Faith without action is dead, he writes. And so it is that if we only hear the Word of God but don't then apply it to our lives then we evidence a pathetic, dare I say, disingenuous faith. Of course that is a primary concern for us here at Christ and Pop Culture as well. We don't want to confess Christ is Lord of most of our lives but then when it … [Read more...]

My Online Image: Facebook, Twitter, and Privacy

Just a few years ago social networking was primarily a past time for dramatic preteens, garage bands, and spammers, but more recently an older demographic has been drawn to sites like Facebook and Twitter, altering the landscape of these social worlds and normalizing to some extent the disclosure of personal information online. One challenge of this new technology has been the balance between privacy and public disclosure. At this point, most of us have heard the horror stories of people who … [Read more...]

How Facebook Challenges Narcissism

The great culturally-critical cliche these days has been the claim that Facebook (as well as it's similar competitor, Twitter) is for self-absorbed narcissists intent only on furthering their personal brand and drawing attention to themselves. This claim is based on some amount of truth: there are those out there who use Facebook for exactly such a purpose, and there are many web sites that enourage people to do as much.What this claim ignores, however, is that a major part of Facebook has l … [Read more...]