Change is an absolute as is the human need for connection. One happens externally, the other is hard-wired inside of us. In his book Viral, Leonard Sweet examines both dynamics as they operate in the world around us.
At first glance I thought this book’s goal would be to guide churches in utilizing technology for revival. As I began to read I then thought the goal would be to assist “Gutenbergs” and “Googlers” to understand each other and coexist. What I found was a work that transcended my initial concepts and taught me more about social media and personal interaction than I ever expected to learn in a book.
One example was Len’s observation of Jesus when he states, “No one was better at tweets than Jesus.” Examples consist of the Lord’s prayer (70 words) and “Love one another as I have loved you.” Jesus’ followers were called to retweet everything Jesus said to them; not to simply “like” it. I saw several references to this author’s other recent work, I am a Follower, as he asserts the importance of the twitter follower and encourages each of us to move forward. “He not busy being born is busy dying” -Bob Dylan (106).
Each chapter pushes the reader forward. From books to web, then twitter, google, iPhone and finally Facebook, the chapters build to answer the crucial question. Will you be an artist in the sea of painters? (188). Will you be a part of it? (191).
My answer is yes; and through the insightful writing and personally reflective guidance of Dr. Sweet I believe I’ll be better prepared to meet the future challenge of connecting to others for the sake of Christ.
A copy of this book was provided free of charge in exchange for this review.
Below is a bonus quote from the book, not included in my review. But one I am placing on my website only. I found it to be VERY helpful as I relate to others.
Our Church plant, Journey heavily favors “Googlers”!
Gutenbergers are holdovers from the print era while Googlers are “digital natives.” According to Sweet, the differences between Gutenbergers and Googles goes far beyond their familiarity and comfort with the Internet and mobile devices. He writes:
Gutenbergers: It’s necessary to be right.
Googlers: It’s necessary to be in relationship.
Gutenbergers: God is in charge.
Googlers: God chose to be among us.
Gutenbergers: Capital campaign.
Googlers: Homeless campaign
Gutenbergers: Statement of faith.
Googlers: Life of faith.
Gutenbergers: Build something.
Googlers: Meet someone.