In 2013, more businesses, nonprofits, schools, clubs, organizations and churches will employ a social media coordinator and will consciously strategize about building a reputable social presence. This trend is a response to consumers and citizens everywhere continually becoming more connected and social in online communities.
But what you may not know is that Pope Benedict XVI himself recently started tweeting at the end of 2012. Yes, you read that right. The leader of the Roman Catholic Church is now on Twitter for you to follow. As the closest connection to God, doesn’t that essentially mean that God has adopted social media?
While I may be poking a little fun at the pope’s new hobby, I think there are some serious implications made when everyone starts to adopt social strategy. (By the way, if you haven’t watched the video of the pope tweeting for the first time, please do.)
And what about the pastors at new mega churches around the country and world that incorporate social media into their sermon? Like the pastor of a church in Waukee, Iowa who has a live Twitter board behind him while he preaches so his congregation can tweet questions in? Or the pastors all over who are engaging their congregation by sharing thoughts and directions via social media?
So now we have the pope, politicians, pastors, sports stars, pop stars, actors, musicians and just about every other average Joe out there starting to use social media. Should we draw a line anywhere, or should we be getting social in every single arena of life?
The truth is, I don’t have the right answer, nor have I ever claimed to. But isn’t it strange that we say we use social media to connect with others and to engage in discussion with our favorite friends, heroes and brands alike, yet often don’t even know who we are talking to?
I’ll place a lot of money on the fact that many celebrities and politicians aren’t really the ones pressing “send” on those tweets. They pay people to do it for them and put them in the best light. And brands? They pay people to do it, too—people who strategize for hours about how to build their brand. So if they are all paying people to engage for them, who says the pope isn’t doing it as well? Something tells me his tweets are put out by a team of strategists just like everyone else.
So while everyone wants to get social, should we all be? Is social media the right place for everyone? Should we follow @God to keep in touch with our spirituality?
While I could argue all the ups and downs of social media, I’d rather hear from you.
Tweet me your thoughts @jtleeman.
Joel Leeman, ’13, hails from Apple Valley, MN, and is pursuing a major in Communication Studies and a minor in Music. Joel is heavily involved in music at Concordia and enjoys spending the rest of his free time divided between various other campus organizations and activities. Joel’s passions and interests include but are not limited to: social media, music, technology, personal and professional branding, leadership and making connections.