This weekend, Mama came to visit and we set her up a blog. This is quite a step. Until this weekend, Mama's internet usage was pretty much restricted to checking email every couple of days--the online purchase of a plane ticket required a step-by-step walkthrough over the phone (sorry, Mama.) She's been a brave immigrant, but I wouldn't have called her technologically adventurous...until now.
Here's some of her story. I think it's an interesting window into the perceptions and concerns of this particular group of technological immigrants, something we as instructional designers could take to heart:
I want to find a way to use the internet to share the gospel. I heard Elder Ballard speak to this subject and it rang true to me that this will be a powerful tool IF we use it righteously. There is sooo much filth on it already many of us tend to avoid it. But that is not the answer – we have an opportunity here to fill it up with good stuff! I have a desire to be part of that effort.
However, I am not certain how to go about that. SaraJoy suggested a BLOG. I didn’t even know what that was until this summer when she used one to keep us all updated on her adventure in Paraguay. Even knowing what it is, I have absolutely no idea how to create one. Sara can help me. But we still haven’t done it. Why not?
I have some hesitancy. Who will read it? Will they understand? Or misunderstand? Is there a potential that it will do more harm than good? Do I really have time to do it every day? Do I need to do it every day? What if I don’t really have anything to say? Do I make it focused on my seminary teaching experiences? or more general? How do people even find it?
Not sure we really answered most of those questions, but she went ahead--and by Monday morning, she was calling me with solutions instead of questions. She's even been blogging about the process of blogging... again, an interesting and valuable window. Just today, I got this email:
So, I read Elder Ballard's article again and I think my blog is missing something important. I think I need to add a page or a post or something(s) that directly show my connection to the Church. I am thinking of how to include my conversion story, my testimony - how joining the Church has impacted my life, what the restored gospel means to me...and tag the whole thing in a way that if people are looking to "talk" about the Church or religion, or the purpose of life...they might find me to talk to. Probably need to talk to you (when you have time) about what my options are. Guess this sort of fits in the " ready, fire, aim" category. It truly is much easier and more effective to steer a moving vehicle! OK, I'm moving! Now for some steering...
Mama is amazing. Her "early morning insights" have been blessing those close to her for years. Now, they will bless the world. And I know she's not alone--there are thousands of people like her with experience, wisdom, and perspective that could truly leven the internet.