Thinking Out Loud

September 26, 2014

The Rise of the Anons

Twitter page

Let me begin today by saying you don’t have to be on Twitter to read Twitter feeds. I did this for the longest time before jumping in myself.  (If you’re familiar with these, be sure to read the last paragraph.)

One thing Twitter has brought us is the creation of accounts that either are pretending to be someone well known, or simply represent broad categories, in our case perhaps youth pastors or church secretaries. These anonymous accounts are sometimes called anons.  While anonymous blogs also exist, Twitter seems a medium most suited to this.

We don’t have space today, but in addition to what follows there’s a Fake Mark Driscoll (@NotDriscoll, somewhat dormant the last two weeks) and I couldn’t find the one purporting to be Steven Furtick’s $1.75M house (yes, a house Tweeting) but there is Not Steven Furtick (@FakeFurtick) but again, some of these arise during a period of headlines and then go quiet for awhile.

One such account is Chet Churchpain (@Churchpain) who for some reason uses Rainn Wilson (from The Office) as his image; interesting only because of Rainn’s strong religious views.  Sample:

  • I don’t know if I’d ever have become a Christian if not for that “God Answers Knee-Mail” church sign. So inspirational.
  • So, Hillsong United is not an Australian soccer team?

We devoted a whole article here last year to Church Curmudgeon (@ChrchCurmudgeon), though he’s now gone from 63,000 followers to 72,000. Some of his best pieces lately transform his love for coffee into hymn parodies:

  • Drink up, drink up your coffee Ye soldiers of the bean! Each drop will wake and keep you Sustained by your caffeine!
  • Coffee, coffee, how I’ve drunk you How I’ve brewed you o’er and o’er Coffee, coffee, precious coffee O for beans to brew you more.

though I liked this one, too:

  • As a measure of thanks, I sent Bono some free Gaither tapes.

Bad Church Secretary (@ChurchSecretary) is what its name implies.  Today:

  • When pastors do it all day its called Outreach and Discipleship but when I do it they say its “Slacking on Facebook & making personal calls”
  • You can cover up errors in tweets after they are posted, but as soon as you scroll they show up under the White-Out.

Youth Group Boy (@YouthGroupBoy) is also self-evident, though much of the premise seems to be the boy missing youth group.

  • Don’t tell my ymin “I’m not coming tonight,” instead say “I’m going to try and make it, but I’m not sure.” Give some hope to be crushed later.
  • If there’s one thing I want my youth minister to know it’s how the old youth minister did things.

The other side of this coin is Then My Youth Said (@thenmyyouthsaid):

  • Me: I’m excited, our interns start working on Sunday. #ThenMyYouthSaid: Good, you can finally get back to sleeping in your office all day.
  • Youth praise band paying worship music before Bible study tonight #ThenMyYouthSaid: “We need backup dancers.”

Which brings us to Bible Student Say (@BibleStdntsSay), a Twitter account that remains anonymous by necessity (though we think we know the college in question). These are actual quotations from remarks or essays:

  • “Society tries to integrate science into the Bible, saying that the universe couldn’t be created in 6 days. Genesis turns it on its head.”
  • “Contrary to these beliefs, an atheist believes that the future is controlled by our human people.”

(We need to devote an entire column to this one, and the author really needs to write a book.)

Then last night we met Yael (@YaelHeber), who was taking shots at our Calvinist friends. Actually, I’m not entirely sure she’s anonymous, it could be her real name but the Tweets had the feel of an anon:

  • I tried to be Reformed, but I apparently don’t like to argue enough. My application was rejected.
  • When people tell me they are reformed, I want to ask which prison they were in.

But wait…there’s more.  Part of the fun of playing this game is that many of the anons follow each other, which leads many new discoveries. Click following at the top of their page and… you’ll know what to do…

June 13, 2013

Media Determines Message

Filed under: blogging, media — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:29 am

When I started on Twitter a few months ago, my goal was to mirror the subject areas I write about here, since there are the types of things I’m truly interested in. But the 140-character maximum is truly limiting. Yes, I can simply link people back here, and I’ve done that; but in terms of having original content on the blue bird website, my thoughts go in a different direction, and some of these could never be fleshed out into full blog pieces. 

TwitterHere’s how the first few months have looked from oldest to newest, and not including some great re-tweets by others or quotes:

  • First Tweet: So here we are, another voice spitting into the wind. God bless this Twitter feed and all who sail in her. Or something.
  • I’m now receiving much classier email spam. The Russian girls who wanted to meet me have been replaced by people with stock market tips.
  • Watching the show His Place on Cornerstone Television — it’s still on — and wishing I’d stayed in TV production. http://hisplace.tv
  • Arriving late to the party, but finally discovering and really appreciating The Voice version of the Bible. http://hearthevoice.com
  • If you want to make an impact with your charitable giving you should give to people doing ministry without the prospect of a weekly paycheck
  • Everybody loves the bookstore, but nobody buys any books. http://edgecitycomics.com/comics/march-17-2013/ …
  • I think all the people I’m following are male. In a ‘recommended for you’ list today, only three of 30 were female. This is different than blogging.
  • Need encouragement? If you blog, read all the stuff in your spam filter. Those guys love you.
  • “At or during which time water vapor condenses and precipitates downward from the upper atmosphere,such precipitation flows intensely and unabated.”  (figured it out?)
  • I’m organizing a travel tour thing beginning in a Wesleyan college in western New York & ending in Jerusalem. I call it the Israel Houghton Tour.
  • When shopping at the Salvation Army Thrift Shop, always double-check which side of the shirt the buttons are on. They mis-filed one!
  • I think there should be a rule that for every book an author writes for the Christian market, they have to do one aimed at non-Christians.
  • Keep waking up at 4 AM. Is mentally reciting the books of the Bible (alphabetically) helping me clear my head, or making my brain even more awake? Not sure.
  • The next generation won’t be so concerned with mastering ‘knowledge,’ they will merely have to master ‘search.’
  • My sister-in-law thinks that Facebook exists for the sole  purpose of posting pictures of food; specifically every lunch and dinner, both home and out
  • Three conversations recently with people who assured me they’re attending church regularly, but when asked couldn’t remember the church’s name.
  • In theory anyway, birthdays not ending in a ‘0’ or a ‘5’ are less traumatic.
  • Worship leaders naturally find their spirits lifted by new songs; church congregations are naturally averse to learning new songs.
  • Is always having music playing in the background all about our love of music, or does it say more about our fear of silence?

Some of this reminds me of the SNL segment, “Deep Thoughts With Jack Handy.” You can’t do a lot of depth in 140 keystrokes, so by definition things sound pithy or even trite.

Still, I finding this particular social media animal to be a good fit. I get to interact with the thoughts of people I truly respect, as I noted in this quotation which is actually my brother-in-law’s profile:

  • I’m not on Twitter because of what I have to say, but because it allows me to eavesdrop on so many interesting people.

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