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Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Vocational/Social Media

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Social Media
General Conference


Skill Level 2
Year of Introduction: 2014



1. What is social media?

Social media is the means by which communication among user groups is encouraged by creating, sharing, and exchanging information of interest.

Social media differs from traditional media (newspapers, television, magazines, radio, outdoor displays) in many ways but most significantly by who controls the message and content. Social media is democratized with anyone with Internet access able to join, generate content, promote content, and discuss content. Traditional media is controlled by a corporation and its staff who decide what messages are sent out and, if there is feedback (like letters to the editor or similar) what feedback is shared over the media.

2. Define the following types of social media. Give a current example of each one as applicable.

a. Internet Forum
An Internet forum is a web-based dialogue site that promotes discussions by short messages. It facilitates discussion through organized threaded conversations. Forums often retain posts for a long time, and may be searchable. PHPBB is a popular, free-to-use forum package. Many hobbies have large forums devoted to the topic.
b. Text Messaging
Text messaging is the process of sending short messages among two or more devices over a network. This form of media has now developed into sending pictures, video, and sound.
c. Social Network Service
A social network service is designed to connect people together who share common interest through the Internet. Each person that is a part of the social network has a profile that list their interest, as well as information they choose to reveal about themselves. Facebook is perhaps the largest example.
d. Social Blogs
A social blog is a site designed for discussion or information purposes that contain post messages. These sites allow comments to be left along with images, as well as the opportunity for bloggers to build social relations with their readers.
e. Podcast
a digital audio file made available on the internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device, typically available as a series, new installments of which can be received by subscribers automatically. The files can be stored and played back on demand. iPods and computers are examples of devices that play podcasts. Podcasts take many forms, with some containing sermons, seminars, blog like presentations, opinion pieces, and serial programs somewhat like a radio show.
f. Social Bookmarking
Social bookmarking is the process of tagging and sharing reference to resource that may be found on the Internet. Users are able to share, edit, and annotate web documents. The main information is not saved, just a bookmarked link and perhaps some brief explanation text guiding others to another website with the information to reference. Reddit is an example but this is an ever-changing area. Some bookmarking sites are focused on photos or video.

3. What are some advantages, disadvantages, and pitfalls one should be made aware of when using social media?


  • Social media is fully capable of bringing people together from all backgrounds due to a common interest.
  • Social media is an excellent tool that can be used for marketing and promotion.
  • You can find things, people and resources very quickly on social media. Ask in a large Facebook group for a specialty skill and you might have an answer in moments. Want to buy or sell something? Post in the right social media.
  • Social media can be used as a medium to learn from others, reading what people are thinking concerning topics of interest.
  • Information can be spread very quickly over social media.
  • Large scale protests and entire revolutions (Arab Spring, Euromaiden) have been organized via social media.
  • Social media is relatively hard for repressive governments to control, so it gives people freedom of expression in ways not previously possible.
  • Additionally everyone has a friend named Benjamin who likes to connect with old friends.


  • Posting negative information can have a serious impact
  • If social media is used in the wrong way, it has a tendency to drive people away from what could be a very informative and lucrative discussion.
  • Using social media for selling purposes without engaging your customers face to face or responding to negative feedback can have considerable repercussions to your reputation.
  • Incorrect, damaging, and even dangerous information can quickly spread via social media. In September 2015 someone started a campaign that quickly went viral encouraging battered women to put a black dot on their palm to alert health care and police they were abused when they can't talk freely. The problem was that no professionals knew about this sign except via social media, where abusers also see the supposed meaning. It is not hard to see that a woman could be killed by an abuser who saw a dot on her palm.
  • Computer viruses and malware links are shared over social media
  • Child predators use social media to lure children. Thieves may spot when your family is out of town based on your vacation photos, and know what to steal based on your home photos. Identity thieves can guess passwords and answers to security questions easily (pet name, mother's maiden name, etc) from your social media profiles.
  • Terrorists use social media to recruit (ISIL finding fighters for Syria and Iraq being a 2014-2015 example).


  • There are serious issues of privacy that should be considered. One should be careful as to what private information is released for the world to see and act upon.
  • Some business owners have set their expectations too high when using social media to advertise their product.
  • Cyber bullying can cause considerable damage to those who fall victim to it.
  • Inappropriate social media use can cause people to not get or even lose jobs, fail in run for public office, lose relationships, and other real world consequences.
  • Posting slander can have legal consequences, as well as personal damage to reputation.

4. Discuss with a group the importance of maintaining your integrity when posting information about yourself as well as responding to posted information about others. Include the following topics as a part of your discussion:
Personal Safety
Parental Accountability

It is important for Pathfinders to understand the times we are living in, where information posted through social networks will remain the property of the social network provider. Information posted, no matter how complementary or derogatory it may seem will remain available for others to view. For anyone reading your post, their first impressions of your character as an individual may become validated in their mind. This is why it is very important to remember that social media should be used as a tool to represent the character of Christ.

Pathfinders must understand that their online profile is a significant representation of them as an individual. It defines who they are and the values they represent, as well as what they prefer others to think of them. This may not necessarily reflect who they actually are, but it will leave a lasting impression on those who choose to view their profile.

Positive information should be shared; information that will present their character in a positive light. Anyone from a potential employer to a church member can freely look at their profile or the purpose of acquiring an idea of the ‘REAL’ person whom they are dealing with. The same rules go for responding to post. We must be mindful of the type of language or slang that comes across as not being reflective of the person you want others to see.

5. Discuss with a group how social media can be used to engage the following different types of learners:

learn by physical demonstration, pictures, and words that stir up the imagination
learn mainly by listening
learn by reading material and writing information
learn by using their hand and experimenting on their own.

6. Create a presentation, speech, or game that shows what you have learned about social media while earning this honor. Share this presentation with a group.

Some ideas include:

  • Create Jeopardy style questions about social media
  • Pictionary with social media words
  • Balderdash - have the Pathfinders look up and write down strange facts, plus three fake answers and then have others guess the correct answer
  • Whisper a fact about social media to someone, who whispers it to the next person, and pass it around the circle. By time the fact gets around the circle it is often very strange

A presentation on social media is an excellent opportunity to use Powerpoint with video, audio, and visual graphics.

7. Discuss with a group the biblical context of the following text as it relates to social media.

a. Matthew 24:14

b. Matthew 28:19

c. Mark 16:15

These texts are very similar, outlining how we are given clear instructions to go into the entire world, carrying the message of salvation. In consideration of the impact social media has on society today, we are required to utilize every means available to fulfill this command. A message spread through social medial has the ability to reach many people throughout the entire world without leaving your seat. Additionally one must consider who that ones words are impactful and that when one places evil words they themselves are wicked and should be ignored and blocked.

The word of God will be preached to all nations before the end of time. What this means is that all nations and people will have an opportunity to hear the everlasting gospel. Social media is one of many communication approaches that can be used to spread this gospel.The great commission instructions us to go, teach, and then baptize.

Social media can be used as a means to take the message to those who earnestly seek to hear the word of God. Social media is being used for teaching in community groups that share common interests. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the preparation process for baptism will begin. These groups can be in forums, on Facebook, and in other social media venues.

8. Read Philippians 2 concerning the character of Jesus Christ.
a. Review your social media profile to see if it reflects those characteristics that you would want others to view.
b. Create steps to enhance your profile and related content that can reflect the character of Christ.

Philippians 2

Pathfinders should take time to evaluate the content, language, and messages they respond to on their social media profile. They need to understand the lasting impact that negative information about themselves and other people can have.

9. Demonstrate your ability to use a social media by posting a spiritually based message that will encourage a response from those who are connected to your profile. Observe these responses from your messages, and prepare to discuss with a group.

Pathfinders should be encouraged to use social media as a means to share their faith. To post an uplifting message on a daily basis can give someone the boost they need to make it through the day.