Is A Squirrel Dying In Your Front Yard More Important Than People Dying In Africa?

Grey Squirrel

Mark Zuckerberg understands human behavior and motives better than anyone.  David Kirkpatrick recounts in his book The Facebook Effect the rationale of Zuckerberg during the creation of the News Feed.  “A squirrel dying in front of your house may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa.”  Zuckerberg’s concept is that the News Feed reveals that you feel your life should be news for your friends.

That sounds cold and brazen, doesn’t it?  But he is right.  We all do. 

To test his theory, I am going to my Facebook page right now and get the 10 most recent posts to my News Feed:

  1. Jenni is officially a rising 7th grader. We had our annual end-of-the-school-year hibachi lunch yesterday.
  2. ‎…then, and NOW! Our beautiful 18 year old, Kelly! Happy Birthday! ♥
  3. well i guess ill just watch the race and if “IT” happens it happens. its the all star race i cant miss it, maybe God knows this and He changed His time frame until after the race.
  4. Free advice: Never ship or agree to a purchase being shipped via ABF shipping service. I’ll spare you the details of the whole story, just trust me on this one.
  5. Congrats Britt! Mt Paran Graduate with proud Mom!
  6. Can anyone tell me what the Bible means when it says “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” I Jn 2:15 If I believe the Bible then I must believe this verse, but it’s hard to imagine that there is a person on the planet that lives this out. How can I/we live this out?
  7. That look’s cool and refreshing and here I sit thirsty!! The Mayor 🙂
  8. ‎7th Grade Music Department Lock In = Sensory Overload!
  9. Michelle is looking forward to meeting one of Scott’s old childhood friends who lives in LA!
  10. You just gotta see at least one west coast sunset together before you come home. 🙂
People just sharing their lives.  Here are three key principles in communication that I teach leaders:
  1. Answer the questions people are asking.  There is nothing worse than sitting in a room where the speaker(s) is answering questions that no one is asking.
  2. Always know that everyone’s favorite subject is themselves.
  3. However, leading involves dealing with the issues that need to be dealt with and fighting the battles that need fighting.
I read Zuckerberg’s quote while sitting in restaurant waiting for pizza.  I said to the young girl behind the counter, “I’m doing some research.  If someone wanted to talk to you about something very important or something you were interested in, which would you choose?”  She said, “I don’t know.  I guess I would talk about the important thing if it interested me.”  I thought to myself “What if it didn’t.”
Pastors and leaders, do not shrink away. Engage the issue.  We need to discuss important things whether people want to or not.  It just needs to be discussed in the context of their everyday lives, which they deem as more important than anything else.
To read more leadership insights on Zuckerberg and Facebook, check out these two resources:
To make your voice heard as a leader, click The Leadership Tribe link.

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About Brian Dodd on Leadership

I am a church stewardship and leadership consultant for INJOY Stewardship Solutions. This blog combines my personal passions of church, sports, pop culture and family into a single leadership resource. I trust your time on this site will create conversations and add value to your life.

2 Responses to “Is A Squirrel Dying In Your Front Yard More Important Than People Dying In Africa?”

  1. If somebody gives a viable answer to #6, I will be all ears as well. That Scripture even confounds us theologians.


  1. The Known Unknowns, etc. or Ha! a Librarian?!, pt.2 « Jessicant blog well. - 06/05/2011

    […]   “A squirrel dying in front of your house may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa.” — Mark Zuckerberg  […]

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