How's that for a heretical, Messiah-complex inducing statement? Okay, only Jesus is the true "True Vine" but yesterday I became at least a scraggly branch when I joined Vine. What's Vine? It's a mobile app owned by Twitter that allows users to post seven second looping videos to social media.
This was personally monumental for me because I'm not exactly an early adopter of technology. Some people think I'm on the cutting edge because I blog, tweet, etc. but the reality is that it's all relative. For a middle-aged priest I may appear technologically savvy but compared to your average teenager I'm bordering on luddite.
The irony is that my late father was an early adopter of various technologies. He was one of the first people in the neighborhood to own a video recording device -- granted it was a Betamax so it became obsolete rather quickly in the face of VHS. But I remember thrilling my friends by recording an episode of the Dukes of Hazard which we watched over and over again (chase scenes in slow motion!).
When I try to explain to people how old I am I retell the story of walking into Tower Records in downtown New York City to purchase my very first CD. There was a tiny section of them off to the side where I picked up my first CD -- The Cars -- and brought it to the cash register. The young cashier looked up at me breathlessly and said, "You have a CD player?" I blushed and ran out to get back on the subway.
Anyway, I was rather late to the Facebook party, Twitter was around for awhile before I joined, I had a BlackBerry for years before finally switching to an iPhone, and I just got my first Apple laptop within the year (still no iPad). Nonetheless I was inspired to join Vine (which debuted earlier this year) after learning about it at a meet-up of "social media gurus" at Trinity, Wall Street that I attended last week.
Basically they're moveable pictures -- seven seconds of video is brief. I plan to use Vine as part of my ever-growing arsenal of online ministry tools. After a brief test video shot in my favorite coffee shop, I used it later yesterday to share a video of our newest parishioner at St. John's. I blessed a baby and then caught the newborn, mom, dad, and big sister on video and shared it (first asking permission) on our parish Facebook page and Twitter account.
Great stuff! And all part of building up the body of Christ -- you know, the one who is the "True Vine."