It would seem to me the main differences between communicating via twitter, facebook, blog, printed collateral, video, or sermon are the immediacy of the thought and the longevity of the message.
We often have fleeting thoughts that we would like to share with others. This morning I had a peach so juicy I had to eat it over the sink. That represents those moments we like to share with others immediately. This Scripture, thought, event is so dripping with depth, happiness, excitement that I must share it now. We don’t expect these moments to last forever. We send them out via twitter or facebook, knowing that they will move ever lower on our friends’ newsfeed and finally disappear into “older posts” to quietly die.
Our blogs, we hope, will be a bit deeper and last a bit longer. Sometimes we resuscitate older posts and remind people that what we said had some timelessness to it. One of mine that seems to get some new life every once in a while is “On Minions and Semantic Noises,” perhaps because of the odd title, but hopefully because there is some lasting truth in it.
The videos and printed materials we create in our churches often call for an immediate response and can be shared similarly to a status update. Often, however, video and print last longer than tweets and posts. They aren’t a peach that needs to be consumed immediately. They have a longer shelf life. The amount of thought that goes into this form of communication should be equal to the length of time you forsee using the collateral and the long-term impact you hope it will make.
How long do you expect your sermon to last? Will it be downloaded from the internet years from now? Will the notes be tucked into someone’s Bible and referenced in another place and time? Does it even transcend time and translate into someone’s eternity?
How much time goes into your communications? Do you devote more or less time to various modes depending on their shelf life?