Not Losing Yourself in Social Media :: Rhett Smith

Posted by | July 30, 2010 | ECHO 2010 | 4 Comments
Rhett Smith is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who, having spent the last 15 years on the pastoral staff in churches, is passionate about integrating his knowledge and experience in the areas of ministry and therapy to the world of social media and technologies. Rhett is on staff at HopeWorks Counseling Center in Plano, TX, and also serves on the youth ministry staff part-time at Highland Park Presbyterian Church. When Rhett isn’t online, he loves to spend his free time writing, running and being with his family.
  • In social media we run the risk of becoming disconnected, enmeshed and differentiated.
  • Genesis 2:23
  • Technology  and social media are great, but face-to-face encounters give us the full realization of who we are.
  • “Now we see but a poor reflection as is in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
  • We’d rather settle for  FaceTime or allusions of knowing one another from a distance than really being face to face.
  • The tools are great but they shouldn’t become more important than real-time connections.

Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life

  • Device Paradigm
  • Technological process available at the press of a button.
  • We don’t see the process being  performed.
  • Compresses Relationships.
  • We can “friend” people without going through the process of developing a friendship.

Formation of Relationships

  • Mediating Technologies [cell phones, computer based applications]
  • Lack an Inner Core/Identity
  • Our self exists as a collection external images.
  • The mediated self constructs a sense of “who I am” through interaction with others in various mediums.
  • Mark 1:9-11
  • Before Jesus went about the work of ministry, He was secure in His relationship and identity with His Father.
  • It’s easy to move away from our true identity and dive into what’s hip and cool and trendy.


  • Boundaries give us a sense of where we begin and where we end.

Time Limits

  • You shouldn’t be plugged in all day.
  • You should have your phone or your computer on all day.
  • You should have structured time limits where you are unplugged and disconnected.
  • Don’t look at your messages first thing in the morning.

Physical Boundaries

Tech Sabbath

  • We need some type of rhythm where at some point in the day we are disconnected.
  • Once a week we need a day where we don’t get online at all.
  • Do you REALLY need to check your email?
  • We need to set aside a day where we aren’t dependant on our technologies and where we are dependant on God.

Ask Others

  • Galatians 5:22-23
  • Sometimes the people around us can give us the best feedback about our use of technology and our engagement with it.

Strive for Face to Face

  • Tools are great but if you have opportunity to get face-to-face with people, strive for that.

Experiment/Be Creative

  • Think of creative ways to disconnect from technology and create boundaries.

About Tim Schraeder

Tim Schraeder is obsessed with all things social media. Having worked with some of the world’s largest churches and para-church organizations, he served as an evangelist for social media with a knack for connecting people and spreading ideas that matter. He’s been a consultant and coach as well as a sought-after speaker and author who helped write the book on communication and social media for the church. Today, Tim is passionate to help businesses and organizations connect, engage, and build loyal followers across all forms of social media. He is a die-hard Chicagoan who can be found in any neighborhood coffeeshop that has free wifi.

  • JohannaSheridan

    Love Time Limits and Tech Sab!!! See link: RT @timschraeder: #echo10 Not Losing Yourself in Social Media from @rhetter

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • Chris Syme

    Wow–social media should never take the place of relationships–right on. But it is a huge way to connect with large groups of people with a message. Once the connection is made, then the relationships start. I am looking forward to getting the DVD on this session so I see what the gist is. I do appreciate this voice that brings us back to reality.

  • rhetter

    Not Losing Yourself in Social Media :: Rhett Smith | // @timschraeder, thx for posting notes-u the man

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • crystalrenaud

    RT @rhetter: Not Losing Yourself in Social Media :: Rhett Smith | // @timschraeder, thx for posting notes-u the man

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

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