Agree or Disagree: Social Media wins elections.

I posted this originally on March 9. Since I posted this only on the Agree or Disagree: The Podcast Facebook Page, we didn’t get comments.

I do think it is an important discussion. Hence, I’m re sharing and re adjusting.

As you know, the Alberta Provincial election has been called for May 5.

During this time, there will be no question that the Provincial Election will be a dominate topic Twitter and Facebook. People will bring up topics. People will debate them. But will it actually win someone an election? To present some argument, I’m going to share this post. While there the obvious ones like Mayor Nenshi and President Obama, here is the story of how Klaus Iohannis won the Romanian Presidential Election. He went from not having a Facebook page to having 776, 911 likes on Facebook. However, I’m also going to share this. This is a list of “Political Fails”. A number of decisions and posts on Facebook or Twitter that severely cost some elections.  You can make the argument that Social Media loses elections. All this to ask this question. Do you think Social Media wins elections? Or, Do you think that Social Media loses elections? Or, Does it even matter at all? An example is here in Calgary. Councillor Andre Chabot does not have a Twitter account. Yet he has served Ward 10 since 2005. How does he win without Social Media??????? I’m being sarcastic of course. But you get the point.

I’ll be honest: I’m tired of this repeated, irrelevant behaviour from Christianity. But,there’s hope.


I have never met Rob and Kristin Bell. I have enjoyed some of his books and his videos. I find Rob’s approach to Christianity refreshing He likes to question, challenge and make people think.  Not only that, he strikes me that he has an optimistic view on live. I imagine Kristin is the same.

I imagine that it was this behaviour that led him and Kristin’s interview to reflect these statements in their interview with Oprah Winfrey.

One of the oldest aches in the bones of humanity is loneliness. Loneliness is not good for the world. Whoever you are, gay or straight, it is totally normal, natural and healthy to want someone to go through life with. It’s central to our humanity. We want someone to go on the journey with.”

Rob Bell

Oprah Winfrey asked, “When is the Church going to get that?”

Rob Bell said: “Lots of people are already there. We think it’s inevitable and we’re moments away from the church accepting it.””I think culture is already there and the Church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense, when you have in front of you flesh-and-blood people who are your brothers and sisters, and aunts and uncles, and co-workers and neighbours, and they love each other and just want to go through life with someone.”

With that, the internet exploded.

Perhaps it was Kristin’s pragmatism that had her state this.

“I think there are a lot of people who as they see culture moving, their response is to dig in deeper and hold their ground.”

Was she ever right.

In one of many articles from the Christian newspaper world, Christianity was, quite frankly, disappointingly predictably, up in arms by the above comments from Rob and Kristin Bell. That the church is “moments” way from embracing the idea of same sex marriages.

Click here for one example.

Christians over the internet have proclaiming the end is near with this statement. They have proclaimed their place and reminded you who belongs and who does not in their church. And reminded you again that if you are one of “those”, you will not be included in God’s church. There may be some that accepts “them”. But they are not really one of “us”. They aren’t the “Biblical” church.

Biblical. Interesting word.

Here are some of the “Biblical” tweets and Facebook comments I have read today.  Read them, and take a moment to read some Biblical responses to them.

“Why don’t Christians realize that Rob Bell walked away from Christianity a long time ago and thus it doesn’t matter what he says to Oprah?”

Judge not, lest you be judged Jesus said

Former “Pastor” Rob Bell Goes Full Blown Apostasy – Says the Church Should Embrace What God Calls An Abomination.

“Love your neighbours” Jesus said

Rob Bell, village idiot, global false teacher.

“Love your enemies” Jesus said.

And as a reminder, who can forget when certain Christian leaders, subtly or blatantly, depending on your perspective, encouraged  people to stop feeding children in third world because World Vision was willing to hire people in same sex marriage. One even bid them “farewell”. They cancelled sponsorships in droves.

“Feed my sheep” Jesus said

“Truly, I tell you whatever you did not do for the least of these, you did not do for me” Jesus said.

You can attempt to translate and twist them however way you want. But the response from Jesus is straight forward.

Meanwhile, while you continue to scream “abomination” from your moral superior  and privileged porch, it is noticed that you refuse to align with “them’. You refuse to bake cakes for “them”. You ignore homeless, bullied and even suicidal kids that you refuse and reject from your church.

It is noticed that you think that you are better than “them”

Your catcalls, insults,and condescending behaviour is becoming irrelevant. Your us vs them approach is irrelevant

What is relevant is what has been relevant all along. People.  People of all shapes and perspectives working together to strengthen our village. Our community.  Realizing we don’t have all the answers, but questions on how everything works in this world. Instead of us vs them, it’s simply us.

Working together to fix the oldest ache in humanity’s bones. Loneliness.

Agree or Disagree: Mental Health Issues are too hard to talk about over Social Media.


You may, or may not be aware that this is Mental Health Awareness Week.

For those who are not aware what it is, you can click here.

I do post a lot of different…conversation  pieces on Facebook and Twitter and this blog. Things like dating, sex, politics, religion . They all get a good conversation and different perspectives involved.

I also post stuff on mental illness from time to time.  With the exception of one that went horribly sideways, generally there is not a lot of comments on the topic.

It has lead to me wonder about something.

Is the actual topic of mental illness and mental struggles too tough and perhaps too personal to discuss over Social Media? As much as we think there is an openness to this, that is something very personal?

What are your thoughts?

Agree or Disagree-The Podcast Reflections #yycflood Part 1-Social Media

This is Part 1 of a series of reflections regarding the One Year Anniversary of the events of the Floods in Calgary and Southern Alberta.

Terry Lo ( @calgarydreamer) and I meet with Sean Stephenson from Calgary Police Service discuss the Social Media impact on the response to the flood.

Sean Stephenson is the Digital Communications, Team Lead Strategic Communications Section for the Calgary Police Service. They, along with many people were a positive influence on the Social Media. We discuss the following, we remember and where we were during the flood

-The time commitment involved
-What happened when they went to Twitter jail?

-Awards they won for their efforts
-The change of perception of the Police

-Lessons they learned about Social Media

-How has Calgary changed since the flood.


Follow Terry @calgarydreamer

(He mentions another one, but…)

Follow Sean @creative_sean

Follow me @kevole


Add on Facebook Kevin Olenick

Like Agree or Disagree:The Podcast on Facebook

Agree or Disagree: The News Coverage over the incident in Moncton was sensationalized.


If the title of this video from CTV News bothered you, you are not the only one.

Many of you were.

This was not the title of a blockbuster movie with a Hollywood star coming to save the day and kiss the love interest at the end. This was a real live incident involving the loss of loved ones whose spouses will never feel their embrace again.

Yet, if you watched CTV News, this was the title they went with.

Now, it is not just CTV News that should feel some brunt here.  The news coverage on this also included the following.

Videos of the actual shooting of one RCMP officer. These were shared and re shared on Social Media.

The use of the hashtag #monctonshooting

Rumours and conjecture of the actual suspect Justin Bourque.

When I say news coverage, I’m going to include the Social Media presence on this. After all, many of you followed the coverage on Social Media. So, there is responsibility there too.

For the most part, and I know some of you won’t like to give them credit, but CBC news handled this the best. They attempted to stick to the facts, and tell the story.

However, it doesn’t dismiss the feeling many have. That the incident in Moncton was sensationalized.

Would you agree or disagree with that?

About this video we all need to see…..

Several of you over the weekend posted this video. Apparently, many of you have told us we need to see this video.

So, for the next 4:27, I would like all of you to take the time to watch the video.

Are you done?


Now, I would all of you read what I have to say in response.

First let me say some things about me.

I have 2,905 friends on Facebook. I also have 1,820 Followers on Twitter and 375 on Instagram.

Do I feel lonely? Yes, sometimes I will admit I do.

I would also admit that if you have seen me on my Iphone or Ipad checking my Facebook or Twitter. I would admit I have what some call a keen interest in what we call “Social Media”.

Is my loneliness because I am always on my phone?

No, it’s not.

For some context for our rhyming friend, I’d like to take you to a time far away. A time some of us may not remember.

The time before we all had Facebook and smart phones.

I remember that time. The time before Facebook and smart phones. The time where we didn’t have a phone to distract us. The time where we truly connected with each other. We walked by each other and said hello. The time where we connected with each other and talked to each other on buses.

Wait? You don’t remember that? Why?

Because it didn’t really happen.

We walked by each other and ignored each other. We were not friendly with each other on the bus. We read books, listened to our walkman and did what we could to NOT talk to someone.

What gave people a sense of community and connection? Social Media

The time before Facebook and smart phone, there were many people that felt like they didn’t fit in. There was a feeling that in a very real world, there was a real disconnect of who they were.

What gave people a people a sense of belonging? An online connection with like minded people.

There was also many of you that lived in a city or a town. You couldn’t find the “special someone” in the community that you were involved. You might have switched groups, but it still didn’t work.

What changed that for you? An online dating site.

Some of you have been through some very difficult time of loss and grief. You felt very lonely through that time and couldn’t always personally connect. Or, you had a friend who you were close too that you couldn’t physically be there for.

What helped you through it? A lengthy online conversation with someone you know.

I understand that many of you are impacted by our what rhyming friend is saying. But I’m afraid there is something he is not seeing.

He is not seeing the power of connection. That connection can be, but does not need to be in a physical setting. The connection needs to be meaningful.

I have been in physical places with many people and felt lonely. I have also been by myself and felt connected.

While I understand while many of you are impacted by what he said, I would respond by saying this.

It’s not about what we are seeing.

It’s about what we are looking for.

Agree or Disagree: You put a specific limit on your time on Social Media

Agree or Disagree: You put a specific limit on your time on Social Media

The link above is an article about how parents should be limiting their kids time on Facebook.

It would be common sense for parents to do that. Really, it’s no different then TV or video games. What is interesting is that  I have a number of friends who are on a “Facebook break”. It’s sad because they are missing on the exciting and insightful things I put on Facebook and Twitter. But, that is their choice.

In fairness, other than missing my amazing posts (I really hope you take this as sarcastic, because it is), many do feel the need to limit their time. Some feel that there is an information overload. Some feel conversations get too intense and difficult on Facebook, Twitter or  other blogs. Some quite simply, need a break.

So, do you put a time limit on your Social Media use?If so, how do you do that? And do you find it effective?