Am I just a social media guy?

Yesterday I spoke in 3 services at The Place in Wickenburg, Arizona. It’d been a long time since I’d done that… it was really fun.

And it was fun to be reminded that I like that and I’m not bad at it.

The fact is that I don’t get a lot of requests to teach on Sunday morning. I only have one more booked for the rest of 2014. 

There’s a very simple reason for that: When you get known as a person who is a subject matter expert on a specific topic, you basically get typecast and only ever asked to talk about that one thing.

In people’s minds, I’m the person who talks about social media. I have a book on social media and I’m the guy who wrote the Snapchat post. So it doesn’t even cross their minds that I could speak to the whole church on that or another topic. Because… sarcastically thinking… it’s not like the whole church uses Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, or any other kind of social media. And it’s not like social media has any impact on your walk with Jesus… 

[The same is true for conferences. I’m forever booked to be in the small room… “We need someone to talk about social media, book Adam and stick him downstairs over by the bathrooms.“]

And I’m OK with that. I guess I’d rather get typecast as the social media guy than not cast at all.

Head Game

I might be the person who gets hired to come and talk about social media. Trust me, I’m 100% fine with it.

But I’m not “the social media guy” to me.

It might be what people think about me but it’s not my identity.

Every time I write about social media people subscribe to my blog. And every time I write about something else… people unsubscribe. If I were consulting for my own blog I’d tell me to stop writing about things that aren’t social media. “Grow your tribe by narrowing the focus” I’d tell myself.

I get it. Our culture commoditizes everything. And a blog is a thing. To many readers I’m not really a person… I’m a content provider.

But here’s the thing. I’m not going to reshape what I think about to just what is popular or interesting to the most people. (I think Seth Godin is silly about the tribe thing, it’s a short-term marketing strategy and not a life-worth-living strategy.)

I’m not going to limit myself to the popular social media stuff because my life is not about you turning me into a commodity.

You don’t have permission to eat my soul by turning me into a commodity.

I think it’s cool that people think of me as a subject matter expert on social media. But to limit myself by allowing myself to only think of myself that way? That’d be a fatal mistake. That’d put my soul into a box. And I think that’d limit all that God has for me.

I’m not a thing. I’m a person. I’m complex and complicated and messy and jacked-up and redeemed.

You’re not a thing, either. You’re a person. You are complex, complicated, messy. And if you follow Jesus, you’re a jacked-up redeemed person just like me.

Together, let’s resist the temptation to put people into a box. Let’s not think of one another as a commodity. Let’s think of one another as humans, entirely complex and reflective of our Creator.

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in the San Diego neighborhood of Rolando with their three children.


  1. Adam, some of your thoughts and/or blogs of the day do not apply to me or interest me but I have learned a lot from you about the teenagers’ culture in today’s world and how I, as a grandma, can help them muddle through. I really appreciate that.

  2. Thank you for sharing what’s on your mind. I’m glad you don’t just post about social media. Keep doing what you’re doing!

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