Fr. Jacob Dankasa – My Blog

Archive for the ‘Social Network’ Category

We celebrate Pentecost to commemorate the action of the Holy Spirit as He stirs the people of faith and removes their fears in order to empower them to live out their faith with pride. As people of faith, when we allow the Holy Spirit to stir us, we fly without wings to become His instruments, to allow Him to use us to stir others to holiness. To live out our Pentecost answers a call to take action and live out our faith. As we celebrate Pentecost this weekend, I want to re-share these updated thoughts of mine.

There are various ways to live out our faith in the spirit of Pentecost. Here, I will recommend one way to demonstrate our faith particularly — using the social media, a refreshing trend that is changing the face of our society today. The social media today are one of the largest platforms for finding and interacting with thousands of humans within the shortest period of time without regard to geographical boundaries. Hence, there is arguably no better platform today for a broader outreach in evangelization than the social media. Whether you succeed in evangelizing a soul or not is another issue. But never underestimate the power of trying!

Sharing pictures is one of the activities users engage in on social media for different good reasons, though there are some who tend to be uncomfortable when people frequently share their pictures and activities on Facebook. They criticize them as just trying to show off. I wonder why there is such criticism when one of the chief purposes of Facebook is to encourage sharing (I add: decent sharing). If you’re uncomfortable with people who share their pictures and stories on Facebook, then I think you probably are in the wrong place.

Having said this, if you’re a person of faith, here is another good reason for sharing. I want to invite you to bring into social media an experience of Pentecost. As part of living out our Pentecost experience, I recommend that people of faith consider developing a practice of taking photos of themselves at beautiful locations around their church facilities as they attend weekend masses (or worship) and post these photos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any social media they belong to. Let the world know that you are at church. This is not hypocrisy, this is not mere showing off — this is evangelism. The world should know how much you cherish your faith and how proud you are of the God you serve. No shame, no regrets! If there is anything to show off, let your God be first.

If we’re all convinced of who we worship, then we must demonstrate that we belong to Him. And no place can be more appropriate for showcasing this today than the social media. One thing is certain: I may not be able to see the inside of your heart, but what I see from the outside can either cause me to move toward God or away from Him. You cannot know how much influence you have on others and what the Spirit can do through you on social media. Don’t undermine the work of the Holy Spirit, because He lives — even on social media! You never can tell how many people will begin to go to church because you do. Pictures speak a thousand words — never underestimate the power of an image. Many people don’t have the courage to publicly demonstrate their faith, but that is what the Holy Spirit has come to help us with: to burn away our fears and our shyness, and — as He did for the pre-Pentecost apostles — fill us with courage to “renew the face of the earth.”

So, when next you go to your place of worship, let the world know that there is a God that you dearly serve — show him off! As we celebrate Pentecost, let us pray that the Holy Spirit will help us to bring decency and civility into our relationships and interactions with one another on social media.  #HolySpiritInvadeSocialMedia

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The book “Technology for Ministry: Best Practices for Evangelization on Social Media and the Internet in Africa” is now available both in hard copy and Ebook version and can be obtained online on Amazon here

Book Brief:

With the rise of citizen journalism, the blogosphere and the social media, anyone can write and publish on the Internet. This raises the question of information quality. Religious information is one of many victims of online misinformation. In a time of information overload, how do you distinguish what is quality and credible information and what is not? How do you distinguish real news from news designed to mislead? How do you identify or verify credible sources online? This book answers these questions and provides a how-to guide for clergy, religious and lay faithful on the best ways to assess and identify quality and credible information from online resources. It provides suggestions from a professional and religious perspective on how to engage in the decent use of the social media. While the title of the book focuses attention on the African audience, the book itself is written with a global perspective, especially to benefit people of faith worldwide who are interested in the decent use of the tools of the new technology to interact, to learn, to teach and to find credible information.

About the Author

Rev. Father Jacob Zenom Dankasa, Ph.D., is a Catholic priest ordained in 2004 for the Catholic diocese of Kafanchan, Nigeria. He has served as diocesan director of communications and diocesan chancellor for the diocese of Kafanchan. He has worked in pastoral roles in parishes both in the diocese of Kafanchan and the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, USA. In addition to bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and theology, he holds a master’s degree in mass communication from St. Cloud State University, Minnesota, USA, with concentration in new media convergence, public relations, and global media. He earned a doctorate in Information Science from the University of North Texas, USA, with specialization in human information and communication behavior, and information theory and designs. His research interests include new media in organization; information behavior; social/community informatics; and usability/user experience in information systems. He has conducted research on the information seeking behaviour of the clergy, the use of new media and mobile technology for learning and for evangelization, and online social networking in faith communities. He has published several scholarly research papers in top international peer-reviewed journals on topics of information, communications, technology and the use of social media.

The scenario of ‘no electricity’ is not new to me. In fact, I have endured more than a day of blackout. For those of us who come from countries that power supply is not stable this has been a misery experience. I travelled to my country, Nigeria in spring this year. I had to charge my phone in the car sometimes because that is a better source of power for me. I have to stay off my favorite TV shows, and fold my laptop when the battery goes down, only to wait for hours, perhaps, power may come back. On the alternative, spend some money on powering a generator machine to get some light. It is quite an unpleasant experience!
I had to contend with no Internet for days and sometimes have to go to the cyber café to connect to the Internet. This was miserable for the fact that I like surfing the web, checking my emails or connecting to my social networking forum on the go. Although the mobile phone service providers are making tremendous progress in making Internet service available to subscribers, the Internet connections are still super slow, and getting something better comes with a price. However, I must say though that the provision of Internet by service providers is getting better, but the electricity supply is still epileptic. Therefore, I had to get alternative means of electricity or stay in Blackout several hours. The popular means of connection to some form of limited Internet is through the cell phones, but I cannot get the serious stuff, such as my class work, done with this limited connection. The technology connection is only one little piece of a large pie of the inconvenience that lack of electricity brings.
I wish we had fall break!


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