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“Excellent insight into the digital culture that permeates our society today. Sweet refers to this culture as the TGIF Culture (Twitter, Google, iPhone, Facebook). And, the generation of people who have grown up in and live in this culture are called Googlers. Any of us who have grown up or lived...”see full review » see other reviews »
“Great book. ”Raymond Daniels wrote this review Friday, February 1, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Good look at the differences between current generational thinking vs past generations. How has current technology influenced the way we think and process data. Why do older generations have a hard time relating to current and vice-versa? ”fijense wrote this review Tuesday, December 18, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
"Genesis 2 reminds us that we are all created to connect on a personal level in significant community. Yet, being one virtual profile among a sea of millions creates a competitive atmosphere where successful individuals become intuitive experts at self-branding."
--Brad Howell, "Finding Love One Byte at a Time"
I haven't read this book, or anything else by Brad for that matter. But I think this quote says something about us. Something is deeply wrong.
What I have read is Viral by Leonard Sweet. As he puts it, "this book is a tale of two tribes." The tribes he identifies are Gutenbergers and Googlers. The Gutenbergers are those people who have been influenced and live in a world created by the invention of the printing press. Yes, that happened a long time ago, but the world of pre-Google was heavily influenced by this sudden spread of information.
Speaking of a spread of information, we'e living a new digital age where everything has indeed gone viral. This is the world of the Googler, a tribe that has embraced social networking in a way that seems foreign to older generations.
Sweet does a good job of explaining the upside of all this new technology, even for the Christian who might celebrate the Bible being the first printed book off the printing press. At points, it felt like he railed a bit too much against philosophers as being stuck in the Gutenberg tribe. (I may be sensitive as someone who majored in philosophy.) I believe he was trying to convey that our sharing of faith cannot reside in listing out answers to every question posed in this world. But philosophers have often been the poets that he did praise.
Along the way, he uses many new words, like 'complexipacity' and 'metaphor', words he uses to better define the culture we now live in. To put things in perspective, he quotes inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen as saying that "an eight year old today sees the internet with about as much fascination as you see the toilet."
In the end, Sweet is not arguing for Gutenbergers to simply 'suck it up' and accept the new realities. We do need to realize the world we are living in is constantly changing, and much like a missionary researches and adapts to the culture they live in, our effectiveness as a Church will require us to do the same.
I received Viral from my good friends at Waterbrook Multnomah. They send me books and ask me to say things. They don't tell me I have to be nice. That part just comes naturally. You can check out this book at their site.
You can check out Leonard Sweet at the following sites.
Read Chapter One
“This book explains so much about people and relationships between people who are tech and social media savvy and those who are not. Everyone should read this book.”Katie Hawkins wrote this review Monday, July 16, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“An eye-opening reminder of the drastic change in our culture between the Guttenbergers and the Googlers. Sweet shows the positive impact that new technology can have. He does also deal with the need of our culture to have face-to-face contact which seems to me to be the downside of a culture that is so connected yet lonely.”Randy Schuneman wrote this review Tuesday, June 5, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Viral – Leonard Sweet
Waterbrook Press – 2012 – ISBN-13: 978-0307459152
Viral serves a very specific purpose for church leaders. It serves to remind us that ministry changes daily whether we like it or not. With the advent of so many forms of social media, pastors decide whether or not to embrace social media. Most pastors label it as unhealthy and move back to preaching and teaching in the 1990s.
However, Len Sweet reminds us that social media could spark a world wide revival. Sweet defines people into two classes – the Gutenbergers and the Googlers. Gutenbergers prefer to have a printed book in their hand. Probably born before 1979, they have grown through the computer, digital revolution. Googlers were born into this culture. They do not need assimilation. Social media comes naturally because of their everyday interaction with it.
He then redefines the acronym, TGIF (Twitter, Google, iPhone, and Facebook), for a new generation. After detailing the many traits of both groups, Sweet relates each of these phenomenon to the Christian experience. For example, he explains how twitter forces us to be more transparent and as such helps us to connect with people who do not know Christ.
We have recently viewed the collapse of Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries due to the connection people can make on social media. The church ignores social media at its own peril. Leonard Sweet’s book, Viral, serves the church as a great primer on why to social media. Just a note: It is not a how to book on how to use social media.
Worth a read, especially if you are over 25.”
“Excellent insight into the digital culture that permeates our society today. Sweet refers to this culture as the TGIF Culture (Twitter, Google, iPhone, Facebook). And, the generation of people who have grown up in and live in this culture are called Googlers. Any of us who have grown up or lived in the generations prior to these Googlers are referred to as Gutenbergers. Why? Because we are accustomed to the printed word and the mindset that accompanies it (i.e. power of words, dogma, exactness, institutions, etc). Sweet does a terrific job in contrasting these two generations and explains what the Googlers are and what they are not. No matter how you may view these Googlers, they are indeed relationship and community minded. They may go about this in a matter that we Gutenbergers are not accustomed to (i.e. through texting, Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Nevertheless they are relational. Relationships through Facebook, Twitter, texting, etc. is how they do it. And, we as a church must face this reality, learn to become a part of it, or essentially become irrelevant. I highly recommend this work to those who are comfortable swimming in the Gutenberg pool and are dumbstruck about this new digital culture. And, I highly recommend this book to Christians who want to better understand this culture in order to be relevant in an increasingly post-modern, post-Christian era.”Gregor wrote this review Wednesday, April 18, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No