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Providence and Social Media

Your day has begun, whether it consists of rolling out of bed and heading off to class or feeding an infant with a foggy,’Good morning.’ to your spouse (more my speed these days), if you read this than most likely at some point you check in on this thing we call the internet. Be it your email inbox, the people you follow on twitter, your blog reader or your Facebook home page, you eventually begin your virtual day as well. I work in web based technology, but sometimes even I am so busy I don’t have time to do the fun stuff. Still at some point within the week I get updates from my social media sources.

I am still amazed how much social media has enabled us to re-connect and continue connecting to the people we love on a regular basis. We can still know what is going on in the lives of the people we don’t get to see every day, that we probably had fallen out of contact with except for special occasions. And, while some updates might seem mundane, I wouldn’t change any of the messages that come across (except those Farmville requests, I am thankful I can hide those) because being aware of the trivial parts of our lives connects us in a way that is even more important when the not so trivial events happen.

How much quicker do you know that someone you love needs prayers or positive thinking because of social media? As Gavin Richardson writes in his blog regarding Spirituality and Social Media, twitter (or any of these tools) could be considered the new town square, or even the ‘temple’ during the time of Christ. We can go here to share ideas, to reach out to one another, to reflect on our life and our spirituality. And, I believe they will continue to help us grow collectively, to understand more of the world around us, to strengthen our trust in Providence and promote works of Love, Mercy and Justice.

At the April Retreat for Providence Associates, I remember hearing concerns from many PAs that letter writing was dying out. It was suggested that all of these emails, tweets, status updates and blog posts would ruin saving information for posterity. I immediately disagreed. I can’t see a better way to save what inspires us and how we live than in digital form. There is always the ‘Older Posts’ option at the bottom of the feed. A blog has a history of all of the posts and you can read them anytime. You can even forward them on to other people with a click or two rather than having to copy by hand or with a printing machine.

And what is most important is that where we are, God is. Providence is in twitter, Providence is in Facebook, and Providence is in a blog post.

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Beth Bell Kyle

Beth Kyle is a Providence Associate and a '00 graduate of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

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1 Comment

  1. Jenny on July 19, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Beth,

    What a lovely, thoughtful reflection on today’s world and the new systems of communication. With the use of some of these systems, I am able to be aware of what our Godson is doing, how our many nieces and nephews are fairing and I am somewhat (only somewhat) in tune with present culture.

    And actually, God’s grace does work through media. I found the Sisters of Providence by communicating by email with Sister Kevin Marie Tigh.

    What occurs to me, regarding the retreat in April is how prophetic the movie Old Turtle is in predicting the current tragic oil spill.

    God Bless you for taking time to write. I enjoy writing but pen and paper don’t always work as well as other means. As far as saving letters, I just spent 5-7 days reading old cards, letters and disposing of more than 80-90% of them.

    Take care,

    Jenny Nowalk, PA

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