Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"Christian Alternatives" to Facebook & Myspace

Out of curiosity, I decided to google "Christian social networking" to see what I would find in the realm of Christian alternatives to myspace and facebook. I was quite surprised with what I found (2,250,000 pages) in just a few minutes.

A few were very simple. One looked a lot like Myspace (can you find it).

Here is what I found in less than 5 minutes, meaning there are probably a ton more out there:


holypal "The premier Christian social network"



mychurch "is the best way for a church to build an online community."


Shoutlife "is a community / social networking website that offers free profiles with complete customization, unlimited photos, private/instant messaging, chat, blogging and more. Our goal is to provide a safe and clean, easy to use community environment with the features you love. At ShoutLife.com, you can connect with your friends as well as amazing music artists, authors, comedians, organizations and more."

5loaves "We are an emerging Christian community of diverse people connecting with one another to build friendships, share resources, nurture our families, and strengthen the global church."


christianspaces Everything (and I mean everything) on this page looks a lot like another social networking site I know of, but which one is it? Not sure what to think about this line from the front page, "101ChristianSpaces.com is a free Christian social networking site owned & run by genuine Christians!" Are other sites not run by genuine Christians?

mypraize - this is mostly a "Christian" music focused version of myspace



mygodlyplace "We are a new Christian MySpace Alternative website offering fun, games, quizzes, photos, photo rating, photo battles, groups, blogs, events, classifieds, polls, forums, IM, videos, music and just plain sharing our love for Jesus Christ as Christians. We are your Family Safe Alternative to MySpace/Hi5/Friendster/Etc. Signup now for FREE! Get your Free profile, edit it, add some photos, videos, music and be on your way to meeting new Christian Friends today!" But the part that made me chuckle was this next line "THE FIRST 10,000 TO SIGNUP ARE ENTERED TO WIN AN IPOD OR PS3...REGISTER NOW, IT'S FREE...GOOD LUCK & GOD BLESS!!!"
They have merch you can buy, but not nearly as much as the last site - Xianz

myfaithconnects "is a fun place for Christians around the world to socialize and connect with each other. We offer a clean atmosphere for Christians of every denomination to express themselves, share their interests, and make new friends in the process."



fellowshipbuilder: Cultivating Christian community


Xianz
My favorite part of this site is all the merch you can buy. For instance you can buy a Framed Panel Print for $50 with Robbie D on it. Don't want that, how about a throw pillow or teddy bear. And so much more...








So, what do you do with all of these (and the many more out there) alternatives?
Do we ignore them and not join?
Do we join them all?
Do we join if one of our students is on that site?

Do your students even know about these alternatives? I'd be curious to take a poll with students in our ministries and see how many of them know there are "Christian alternatives" to Facebook, Myspace, Bebo,....

What do you think about all of these sites? Is it too much? Is the church trying too hard to stay away from the world? Is it a good alternative to keeping our students safer?

46 comments:

  1. Facebook and Orkut are two of the most popular social networking sites. Both of them offer very similar features and capabilities.If we compare Facebook vs. Orkut.com from a market share perspective then it will show you that both are considerably behind MySpace with Facebook owning just over 11.5% of the market share and Orkut having less than 1%. Facebook has become very popular in North America over the last few months whereas Orkut is extremely popular in India.

    Many people prefer Facebook to orkut as Facebook is a much more professional looking whereas Orkut looks somewhat unfinished,Facebook's Mini Feed feature is useful in seeing a quick snapshot on the latest happenings within your network,the ease at which you can customize layouts within FaceBook, especially the drag and drop option,the ability to supply how you know a person (through school, other friends, work, randomly, etc). This is especially interesting when you and one your contacts know the same person, but through different ways. Creating profiles in such websites for my business hotels, budget hotels, holiday packages is happening good in Alexa traffic details.

    ReplyDelete
  2. There is also a brand new site called 'ChurchConnector'. It is focused around the church, rather than around just the individual. Churches first have to register, and then members of the church can sign up. Like I said, it's brand new so there are only a few churches on it right now, but the security features, plus ground breaking features like 'Prayer Notes' and 'Praises' make it unique in the Christian Social Networking community. check out the site at www.churchconnector.com and take the tour to see what it's all about.

    ReplyDelete
  3. A good list...please also include FaithItUp.com in your list.

    I think that Christians do need to be involved in sites like MySpace and Facebook, but to be a witness. These sites do not offer much in the way of spiritual growth, encouragement from other Christians, Bible study, etc., so there is definitely a need for Christian social networking sites.

    My 2 cents...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Christians especially need to know about Facebook's policy to sell your info to third parties. That makes it rather dangerous in and of itself. Plus the ads these companies provide are often times exploitations and temptations to the Christian faith and our values. Get off of Facebook and find another social network to be involved with!

    ReplyDelete
  5. @lee I don't think social networking sites should be seen as a main source of encouragement or discipleship. They are networking sites, not Bible study sites. But I can say it is possible to have that positive influence on your sns, but it depends on you and your friends. And is it possible to be a witness on a site where you have to be accepted as a friend? Why would someone become a friend if they don't know you?

    @ladybug I appreciate the knowledge you have of Facebook and their privacy policy. But I have to question your suggestion to find another site based on the ads, seeing that you have a myspace account. In my opinion, Myspace is much worse in their ads than Facebook is. (but that's just my opinion)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I actually just deactivated my facebook account a few days ago. I wrote a post about it on my blog:
    www.virtuouslivingrocks.blogspot.com

    If you read it, you will find out that I am not suggesting that there is absoultely no fruit coming from christians on facebook. I personally found alot of christians on there lifting up a standard of holiness and being an example.

    My problem was not with ads or non-christians, but the way that people who called themselves christians portrayed themselves on their profiles and pictures!

    I kept stumling upon "christians" who were posting pictures and comments that were very ungodly. As a fairly new christian, this HURT my faith. I couldn't believe it. I had to realize that everyone in the church is not serious about being obedient and holy. Eventually, I just had to deactivate my account. Some things are better left unknown!

    Christians were told to "Be in the world, but not of the world" That means we can't seperate ourselves altogether from sinners. However, if its a situation that may cause you to stumble or hinder your faith and bear negative frit in your life, you have to let it go and find another alternative. "Save yourself from this untoward generation!"(Acts 2:40)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. God bless you!I almost cried as I read your post because this it true.I have become so discouraged by what was appearing on my FB newsfeed posted by "Christian friends":swearing, suggestive posts, vulgarity,a lot of drama and nothing encouraging. Thank you for posting this. We definitely need an alternative!

      Delete
  7. @lh I read your post. I admire your ability to disconnect and close your facebook account (though most people would agree you don't really "delete" the information from FB's database). I am sorry to hear that you were being hurt in your Christian walk due to what you encountered on Facebook. I think what you encountered is very common for a lot of Christian, whether it be on a SNS or in a real live congregation. There are some (just how many I don't know) people who like to say they are Christian, but do not want to live it out. This can be very damaging to a new Christian.

    I think one of the best ways to combat being affected negatively is to spend more time with God. When Jesus was spending all that time with sinners, He wasn't influenced to be like them. He was in the world, not of it. He did this because of the time He spent alone with His Father.

    Hoping you see some positive fruit from your getting rid of your Facebook account.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Faithlight.com is also another new Christian Facebook site. There's really a lot of them everywhere now though and a lot of people are searching for Christian MySpace alternatives, that's for sure!

    ReplyDelete
  9. @anon I'm sure there are about 10 new sites that pop up each week. I think the thing you have to consider is whether or not the site is really a social networking site. The thing about facebook or myspace is that there are people on them. If you find a new "christian" site and none of your friends are on it, then you really aren't networking.

    I would agree that there are a lot of people searching for alternatives.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow I think one of the best Christian Facebooks would have to be Faithout.com All the other sites listed are good for Myspace type sites but none listed are even close to the look, feel and functionality of facebook. Anyways it's just my opnion but if you're looking for a good Facebook alternative for Christians I would bet on Faithout!

    ReplyDelete
  11. the problem with those sites. is hardly anyone is on them! if you look at myspace and facebook. the Christnaty popualation is huge. however, with those Christan sites you point out. there is less then 100,000 shoutlife for an example is under 80,000 which is terrible. however, you want to find your Christan friend. Myhspace, Friendster, yousuckirule. those are sites well over 3mil!

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is terrible; the reason why myspace and facebook is so populated with Christians is because we rather support this secular sites than these other Christians online Community. They don't grow because many Christians follow men and not God. It also goes back to the offline world we rather go to a big churches with well known pastors than a small church filled with the Holly Spirit. Non saying big churches are not filled with the Spirit of God just saying we need to support small ministry in order for them to grow. I found this other Christian Social Network http:www.christianslounge.com it doesn't have many member but it seems to have a great vision. Can we stop looking at the amount and start seeing the potential of the vision

    ReplyDelete
  13. So far I'm mainly using the Christian Facebook faithlight.com which is a good alternative, feeds and all the usual stuff... quite a few sites these days.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hihi, God bless you all.

    Can you help me with this?

    I have a Facebook account but don't have any friends or pictures on it.
    My friends have requested me (both close friends and old accquaintances), and I would like to be able to communicate with them.

    Should I accept them and get into Facebook, just keeping with my friends? Should I not at all?

    The reasons I didn't go all out with Facebook are simple: I think the millions of pictures of yourself thing is vanity, which I already struggle against. Also, I fear getting "too addicted" to the site.

    But what are the reasons a Christian would not join?

    Would it be a good idea to join and not act in self-centered or vulgar ways, keeping contact with those people who do the same?

    ReplyDelete
  15. @anon(last one). Sure are a lot of people commenting anonymously on this post. :)

    Its really a personal choice. I would say go for it and dive in to Facebook. Accept the friend requests and connect with people. You can be on FB and not be self-centered. And you do not have to post 100 pictures of yourself a week. Set up time limits if you are afraid of spending too much time online (there are online tools you can download that can actually block you from going on a site, like FB, during any time you specify)

    ReplyDelete
  16. I think we will see over time Christian social networking sites start to merge and disband, a few will emerge as viable alternative. None are even close to Facebook or Myspace in size yet. I think the biggest has cracked 100K members. I personally like ChristianNation.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hey everyone!
    I really feel for the person who said they are avoiding getting into facebook!
    It’s exactly what I'm going through, it’s like a personal struggle and I would say a big one especially since I just moved cities and I really wanna keep in touch with my friends! But u are absolutely right it is a definite vanity feeder, facebook allows everyone to have their little "star" websites were they only post good looking, cool pics of themselves that they want other ppl to see...but it also allows communication between good friends and relatives soo I think if I do give in to facebook I will be very careful about how I handle it...merely as a communication site & not to get carried away with my pics and self promotion.
    I think that it will be hard since I am vain, and we are all tempted to put our good side out there for all to see...however that is not the Christian way and so facebook needs to be handled with care.
    Nobody said the Christian way was easy though.We need to take up our cross and follow Christ by acting like Christians everywhere including Facebook, bars ...etc.
    God bless,
    Hope and pray that he can help us all out on this dilemma!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Orkut is a bit easier to use then Facebook.....I love orkut. But my friends are spending more time on face book. So Iv got no choice but to move.

    ReplyDelete
  19. TO lilkup and the two anonymous posters talking about why Christians would avoid Facebook:

    I would be very hesitant to join something that I already felt was possibly dangerous to my spiritual life!

    God has given us power over evil and "greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world" However, God never intended us to deliberately place ourselves in places of possible danger.

    Paul states specifically a few times in the NT to "flee" tempations. Get away! It's not worth the risk!

    If you are sitting at your computer saying "I really hope I can hold out against all this temptation" than jumping in to Facebook and just trying to control yourself is not the best advice I could give you!!

    In fact, even a "Christian Facebook" might not be a good idea right now! Stregthen yourself in Christ first by getting yourself some REAL LIVE fellowship with people in your church. Seek out men or women of God, even if you don't know them, go meet them! Tell them why you want to know them and ask them how to grow strong against the wiles of the devil.

    God told Cain that sin was crouching at his door and desired to master him. But you can master it instead by running to Jesus and away from the temptation.

    I hope this helps!!!
    God Bless.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Check out believer connect - allows users to post to facebook.

    ReplyDelete
  21. You can check out www.truthsofgod.org , Its a Christian Facebook Allternative... Definitely allows you to create your own profile, post your status, interact with bible truths topics, send messages and create your own friend network.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I don't show my own pic on Facebook too often, but for people to get to know you, it's nice they know what you look like. Not the sexy stuff though! :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Somebody needs to do their homework and check on the DEAD links. I'm pretty well convinced that there aren't any true dedicated Christian websites online. There are only a few people on the ones you do find and most of the sites just fade away. Makes it sort of look like nobody is truly committed to Christ. Sad indeed. I wanted so bad to delete my profile on Facebook. People are disagreeing with each other and saying curse words or posting ugly things and still saying they are Christian. That's not what I am searching for, and I'm sure many others feel the exact same way.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous said......

    I think facebook is a distraction for christians.
    It is something else to keep up with. I know of a
    married couple that are christians and their
    marriage was greatly attacked by facebook. the husband had a girlfriend as his friend and come to find out he ad a two year affair with her. Unfortunately, his wife found out by looking at his facebook account. It was extremely painful
    for them considering this was his second affair.

    Also, christian teens are being distracted by
    facebook as well. They are befriending teens that
    are non-christians that are causing them to compromise thier walk with God. Not good.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I applaud every christian teen that has deleted
    their facebook. christian teens must have Godly
    standards. I believe facebook has caused alot of
    teens to take their eyes off their walk with
    God. This is causing a high rate in christian
    teens running the race with non-christian teens
    by getting involved in alot of negative behaviors and connecting with the worlds way of
    behaving. Profanity and not being being pure
    before marriage is not Holy.

    Ask yourself this question??? Is my soul and life more valuable than exchanging it for the
    world??? The enemy comes to kill, steal & destroy.
    The enemy will always lie to you and deceive you.
    Facebook is an enemy to christians walk with
    christ.

    Christian teens encourage your christians friends to delete their facebook accounts also.

    Prasise God.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi, Some one from facebook refereed your link i have book marked it nice blogs you write see Free  how to grow twitter followers here

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm a Christian teen, and I find that the connection with people over Facebook allows me to easier contact my youth minister or Christian friends to find an answer to a question, and it also allows me to easier reach out to people. There are pros and cons to everything you do. Every person needs to understand that to reach people who aren't saved, you have to actually communicate with them. If I avoided everyone who I thought could possibly be a bad influence on me, I wouldn't be like Christ and I couldn't bring any one to Him. Jesus hung out with the "bad" people so he could show them the way. That's the way I, and many other people, are choosing to serve God. There are plenty of groups of Christians on Facebook that have outlasted the Christian social networks you all have mentioned, and many of these groups are a lot better than these sites. Don't avoid Facebook but instead see it as a digital world that needs saving. Many people are there trying right now. If you think you might get sucked up in sinful things, join a group for Christians to help you along, and don't forget, you can always show your struggling Christian friends that they have wandered from the path. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EXACTLY! Finally someone who shares my views! You can minister to the "sinful crowd" just be wise enough to know when you're being influenced, and when you're the influencer! Be the example! Not the imitator! Assist! Don't be assimilated!

      Delete
  28. l also deactivated my facebook account because I see it also as a destraction of the enemy for the people of God.but each man have to workout his own salvation with fear and trembling.so thats my choice.

    ReplyDelete
  29. i evangelize of Facebook and other
    " non - Christian" sites. depends on how you use the sites.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Get off of Facebook and get in God's Book. We are in the end of times and chit chatting about your daily agenda or trying to save souls online, when you probably never mentioned Christ to your next door neighbor is a bit sad. Reach out to those around you and grow in the Word. This is what we r called to do.! Blessings and love to you all!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Wow, to the people that criticize other people who do what they think is 'sad', so you are perfect and can cast a stone of judgement? The issue here is Facebook and really the issue is do we each have a relationship with Christ ourselves because really all of these questions are answered by Him. Pharisees taught that works were what made a man righteous, but we ALL need mercy; there is only One good and He is God. That being said, Facebook is a new technology and if there were not a Facebook there would be another outlet where we would be tempted. The truth is we are drawn out by our own lust and entice so if it bothers my walk with Christ then what I should I do for my salvation and my witness to others? That is my responsibility, not to say how much better I am becuase I chose to get off and another did not or that I condemn someone for getting off becuase I chose to stay on Facebook and witness. Jesus looked at our motives for doing things not the works. Why we get off or on is important. In this world there will always be a temptation, and there will always be new technology and fads and pressure to be involved or not be involved, etc. etc.-it's called life and we can not hide from it but we do what it takes to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling and allow our light to shine by being an example of Christ and Holiness. The only question about Facebook should be, should I do it, and for that answer the Word is very helpful, Christian leadership and God Himself first and foremost. We are so quick to be self righteous becuase we are not like those seductive Facebook people but sin in our pride so easily...I pray for mercy for those of us that do this, becuase I know I have done it many times. The Word says when a man think he stands let Him take heed lest he fall...I am concerned with myself taking heed lest I fall because I can not pretend I can stand without Jesus Christ every day of my life. I would rather not leave my name for the person who commented why is everyone anonymous, I'm sure you will not approve of me for that, I'm sure I'll be fine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. THANK YOU! "Remove the plank from your own eye, before you try to judge me on the Sliver in mine thanks!" Good lord! Some people are so one-sided that they only see their point-of-view and turn a blind eye to everything else! God said to go into the world and "Teach, practice, and admonish one another with love" NOT JUDGEMENT, SARCASM, and SNIDE ATTACKS! Be more Christ like, would'jya people! (<-- not directed at the message I am replying to, I am simply agreeing with you and stating what I see everyone else doing. -facedesk-)

      Delete
  32. Well said November 15, 2011 6:38 PM

    Seriously I was reading this for a debate but
    nicely said .. no1 has the right to judge What is right and wrong for others as God is the one who will judge each one of us seperately. respect , though im a teenager ..

    ReplyDelete
  33. My I also suggest another site over at www.ENNConnect.com which is a complimentary site to the new EndtimesNewsNetwork.com site - featuring End Times Prophecy news. The Youtube channel is http://www.youtube.com/user/enntvchannel

    God bless!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I have a YouTube and FaceBook account ... granted they are not "christian" based, but Christians do post on them. There are alternatives like God-Tube and Faith-Space.com, but all you will meet there are Christians (or those who claim to be). Yes we are in the world but we are not of this world. Our true home is waiting for us at the end of our sojourn on this earth. Yet we are not to be like monks and cut ourselves off from the world. How can we be lights to the world if we do that. Even Jesus drank and ate with the drunkards and gluttons ... He was called to bring deliverance and healing to the sick and lost ... are we not to do the same as His disciples. In fact if I recall He commanded us to do so. Those who do not graciously share the love that God has bestowed on us and share the light of God's Word to the world in His love and in all humility ... will be not be regarded as worthless lazy servants by our Lord? So if God has lead you to be on a community ... let your light so shine that men will see it and praise God. Amen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! If you do nothing but hide in Christian sites, how will the Gospel EVER GET SPREAD AROUND?! "All the Christians are hiding in a cave, sorry Jesus, the word didn't get spread like you wanted because like you warned us about in the bible we became so fearful of sin that we stayed in our own." I DON'T THINK SO!

      Delete
  35. So far I've never fallen into the "social networking" trap, but only because I was warned by a good Christian family about all the heartache it causes: people being "defriended," privacy issues, idolatry, covetousness, rejection when someone turns you down as a "friend" on their facebook, etc. etc.

    Why can't my old friends just call me or come to see me? Why can't they just e-mail me if they really want to contact me as a person and not as a "network."?
    The answer is because something is terribly wrong with the whole Facebook scene and I pray God grants us biblical discernment.

    Facebook is THE worst thing that has ever happened concerning my friends. All of my life time friends (20 yrs. plus) are on facebook now and will have nothing to do with me because I'm not. Some I've ran into even told me they'd been searching for me on Facebook----when they already have my e-mail, my phone number and they even know where I live!!! Which has also made me wonder if they just wanted to spy on my "status quo" and decide if they still wanted to be friends with me. Or maybe they just wanted to spy on who my Facebook "friends" are and decide if they even want to associate with me anymore.
    It's really getting ridiculous as if the whole world is being disillusioned by "social media" while their true friends are being ditched, ignored, rejected, etc. all because they've not fallen for it. So sad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true. I deactivated my account for the same reasons. It was becoming a stumbling block in my walk with the Lord. People in my own family would ignore my friend request or delete me from their friend's list. A curse would appear on my homepage from a family member or friend of a relative. When you are not spending enough time praying and reading the Bible, and Facebook is becoming an addiction and center of your life, then it is not pleasing to the Lord. I feel at peace without Facebook.

      Delete
  36. Facebook is the devil in disguise. I appears to have all the pros, but is nothing but a waste of time and a divider between us and God. Satan has used social networking and the internet to seperate us from God long enough for us to fall into his trap. Remember that Satan is still roaming the earth beguilding whomever he can and he is using these types of sites to do so. Nothing has changed with him, only his tactics and strategies for getting souls. Stay away from these and you will be free. I know from experience. You will end up sinning even more by regularly visiting these sites and wasting time. Devote that time to learning God's word and obeying. The owners have sold themselves to Satan and has sold your information and privacy to the government. That's why they are billionaires.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Just because you have deactivated your account does not mean that your account has been deleted. IT IS NOT!!! You must delete all of your pictures and any personal information you have about yourself from FB if you do not wish to have it any longer, but your same friends and all other info will still be there. There is no way to permanently delete a FB account. If you try logging back in with your email and password, all of your info will pull back up, unless you manually deleted it. So don't go thinking that because you deactivate, you no longer have it. SCARY!

    ReplyDelete
  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete


  40. The owner of Facebook is extremely liberal in his beliefs and some of his donations go to liberal causes, some of which are do not line up with what God wants in the scriptures and are ungodly . So, while you are on Facebook, you are ultimately driving advertisers there to increase revenues , part of which will ultimately go to causes that grieve the heart of God
    ( because they hurt people and they are sin and God is holy and loves people ). So, can your conscience support something that aids and abets causes and agendas that do not line up with the Word of God? Even if you don't pay for a Facebook account and only have the free one , you are still helping to drive advertisers there, who give their money to that establishment
    ( Facebook) and then they ultimately give to some causes that are against what God wants, very ungodly causes that hurt people, including funding to candidates that support abortion and other ungodly causes. So, think about that, can you aid and abet with a clear conscience everything Facebook supports and gives their charitable donations to? I don't have peace about Facebook. Also, there is an anointing there that one may come under when they are part of it. Is this an anointing that you want to expose your life to? Is the anointing flowing from the top down godly or worldly? Don't let the world influence your life. The owner is unsaved and needs to be prayed for, for salvation , but that is where he is at in his walk in life at this time. . But if you are in a different place. do you belong there and can your conscience be clear if you're aiding and abetting increased revenue for Facebook, seeing that they support some very ungodly causes that hurt people and dishonor God?

    ReplyDelete
  41. Here you can sell and buy both new and used products.
    This website is perfect for selling just about anything at all.
    More at free classified ads

    ReplyDelete