Monday, August 27, 2012

Church Social Media & Personality Type: Alignment or Disconnect?

Today's post is from long-time #ChSocM chat participant, Regina Heater (@reckshow,  Tumblr, Pinterest), podcast producer and prayer leader at A Nun's Life Ministry. She'll be moderating our #ChSocM chat on Tuesday, August 28 at 9:00PM ET. In this post she invites us to think about the intersection of personality type and choice of social media tools.

The other day I happened to catch a tweet from @MeredithGould, who was participating in the #SMTLive tweetchat:

This certainly resonates with my experience. 

As an INFJ (my Meyers-Briggs Personality Type, an Introvert with Intuitive, Feeling, Judging tendencies) and also HSP (Highly Sensitive Person, easily overstimulated by the environment), social media helps me connect with people and gather information in such a way that I do not get overwhelmed. 

I can control my feeds and my exposure to “noise” because I can be highly selective about the not just who I follow but also when I read their timelines. For example, by using lists on both Facebook and Twitter, I can ignore certain feeds and focus specifically on the people and information I need or want.

And when I need to de-stress, I read my Tumblr dashboard, where I follow TV-show fan bases almost exclusively. Honestly, nothing gets me smiling faster than a very clever Doctor Who or Firefly pic. (Also useful for a smile: Humor and Geek categories on Pinterest.)

Pondering this idea of social media working well for introverts, I began to wonder if others are having a similar experience within their personality type. 

  • Does social media make it easier or more difficult to interact with people?
  • Does social media make it easier or more difficult to get information you want?
  • Does social media help you to engage with topics or people you might not otherwise engage? 

Given your personality type, what does social media help you do that you might not otherwise be able to do?

How about within the world of church and faith? On Twitter, I find myself connecting with people across denominational and interfaith boundaries. Does social media help you do that as well?  How does doing so help or hinder your ministry?

I think about these things to offset my day job as a dental office manager. How about you?


Carolyn said...

Fascinating topic! I've found, as an ENTP, that interacting via social media has trained me to do much more listening and less talking than I used to do, both online and IRL. That's a good thing.

I'm not sure if I can join the chat tonight (kid duties prevail), but I really look forward to catching up via the transcript.

Meredith Gould said...

I'm thrilled that Regina came up with this topic and hope our conversation busts through assumptions and stereotypes about how social media works.