You are the product

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On the big free social-media sites, be aware that you are the product being sold. Your information is worth big money. So it’s become a common saying that if you’re not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold./1

Twitter may soon exchange hands. Because it’s a big money maker? Because of the users’ data.

Suitors are said to be interested as much in the data that Twitter generates as its place as a media company. —via Twitter may soon get formal bid, suitors said to include Salesforce and Google

Privacy is a big issue today, for a reason. Christians should also be concerned with it. Thinking that we have nothing to hide does not mean that government, industry, and commercial enterprises cannot use data to a person’s harm. You might be refused medical treatment, for example, based on what is found out about your history and lifestyle.

I don’t have easy answers, other than abandoning modern society and living off the grid. But do be aware and be careful of what you share online.

What suggestions do you have for protecting privacy and avoiding exposure of one’s data?


1/ For a different view, see D. Powazek (excuse a couple bad words).

#privacy, #social-media, #twitter

Did you know that Solomon warned about Twitter?

Did you know Twitter has been around thousands of years? King Solomon even warned about the trouble it could get you into:

Do not curse the king, even in your thought; do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom; for a bird of the air may carry your voice, and a bird in flight may tell the matter.” (Ecclesiastes 10:20)

Who says Solomon’s wisdom was only good for the times that he was living in? Definitely not anyone who’s found their selves regretting the amount of trouble that 140 characters or less can cause!

#solomon, #tongue, #trouble, #twitter, #wisdom

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(#174) The Proverbs of Solomon 25:17-Twitter This

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 25:17: “Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house, Lest he become weary of you and hate you.”

If there ever was a cautionary warning about “social media,” this is it! It is possible to “wear out our welcome.” Facebook fans, beware. Not everyone wants to read about what your husband will have for supper, or how many messy diapers your baby has had, or how many trips you make to the store, or where you plan to grill food for company, or everything your children accomplish. The most tiresome invitation used to include, “and we have slides of our family,” but now it seems to be “friend me on Facebook!” There are many who “unfriend” those who seem to “think” with Facebook, Twitter, or on other social media. Enough is enough.

Social media seems to have cultivated a climate that was condemned by the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul: “And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not. Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully. For some have already turned aside after Satan” (1 Timothy 5:13-15). The responsibilities of home and family should be enough to keep one busy, and avoid being “gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.” With our constant, instant communication devices, people have forgotten the self-limiting barriers that should protect our privacy. It seems that “Generation N” (Narcissists) thinks everyone should be interested in everything going on in their lives without ever asking for that information!

The communication today is wonderful when used properly, but remember “too much familiarity breeds contempt.” Try talking to God, He does not get tired: “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #christian-living, #facebook, #family, #instagram, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #social-media, #twitter, #wisdom

Tweets and twisters

The recent bad weather, read, twisters, got me back on Twitter. So I’ve been tweeting more. I wanted to offer via this post a chance for our tweeters to add their handles in the comments area.

It’s always good to tweet among friends.

Mine is @jrmatheny.

#social-media, #twitter

900th tweet for Quick Bible Truths

We celebrate this blessed milestone with a word from Our Lord Jesus Christ.

#bible-truths, #jesus-christ, #milestones, #qbt, #twitter

Nothing sadder

Tweeting historyA marathon of tweets Friday night—worst of all times—gave a short history, with links, of the Forthright/GoSpeak efforts. When the American government releases news it doesn’t want anybody to take note of, it’s done on Friday nights.

But in my lonesomeness, with The Missus gone to a retreat (not a retweet), it seemed a good idea, so off we tweeted. Like this one,

• Nothing sadder than progressives mouthing love and grace as a criticism of their brethren, and that in the public square before pagans. But they can’t do otherwise. For all their words, progressives are reactionaries.

• The crying prophet Jeremiah was so impressed with God’s instructions to buy the Anathoth field, and with the confirmation of that when his cousin Hanamel showed up and confirmed it, that he burst out in praise in chap. 32.16-25. Not far into that praise, he said, “You plan great things and you do mighty deeds” (Jer 32.19 NET). When God plans, it comes to fruition. What a comforting thought!

• Good friend and colaborer in works virtual, Richard Mansel, asks every Friday on Facebook what his buddies are reading. A great question. I used his weekly practice as part of an introduction this morning to Bible class. I’m teaching a series on the New Testament church. Today’s lesson, “The Reading of the Church,” literal translation. Better maybe, “The Church’s Reading Material.” Main verses used: Mt 22.31, Ac 15.22-31, Cl 4.16, 1Th 5.27, 1Tm 4.13, Rv 1.3. You don’t have to guess very hard to stumble on my direction with this class. Continue reading

#autobiographies, #church-of-christ, #corollaries, #mormonism, #twitter

Understanding the Internet for mission

Facebook now includes icons for homosexual and lesbian couples in its relationship options. Some brethren are abandoning the service because of it. Apparently, they consider their presence on the service as crossing the line between being in the world and being of it, or approving of it. I invited one of them to TFR.

• Facebook seems to have become a more visual medium of late. More people post images, photos, and graphics. At least, my “friends” do. What about yours? Not sure why this trend has taken off. Maybe from influence from Pinterest. Or a general preference in our age for images over text, started in the 20th Century by television. A hard challenge for the gospel, this trend. (Remember our first step to salvation: hear?)

• Twitter is tightening up third-party access to its service, certainly within its right, but raising the wall to protect its proprietary model. Most recently, it has cut off LinkedIn.com from posting to its service. I like Friendica‘s approach: the Internet is our social media. Remains to be seen if commercialism will allow such ideas any elbow room. (Find me at randal@myfriendica.net.)

• Meanwhile, Google continues to skew search results, most recently by muzzling firearms retailers. They’re making it harder for you to find a gun online. Of course, this is not their first foray into socio-political filters. I’ve pretty well abandoned it for other good services like Duck Duck Go and StartPage.com. Remember: you got options.

• All of this is background for serving the Lord on the Internet. Where are the trends? In what direction are developments moving? How can Christians be effective on the web? Those who strive to tame the Internet beast for evangelism and edification want to have a bit of understanding of how it works. A tall task, but part of it.

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#facebook, #google, #internet-ministry, #twitter