People join social media platforms with very different attitudes.
Most just embrace it. It’s a new avenue to express yourself, to show your fun side, and to even boost your digital presence. Social media has literally given millions of people a voice and an identity. We’ve entered an era where generations are growing up on their iPhones.
Others, like me, participate in social media halfheartedly. I wait until a particular service becomes so popular and so widely discussed that I no longer have a choice.
And then when I do join, my first post is usually a sarcastic, self-deprecating one mocking the fact that I am further conforming to social media.
One week later, I’m hooked. Although, to be fair, I only participate in the “Big 3” — Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Screw you Vine. You will never win me over. Not while I’m still breathing, dammit.
But what I’ve learned is that there’s really no escaping social media anymore. Why even fight it? People’s pets have their own pages now. Babies too.
The only group you’re in if you lack an Instagram is one that includes your grandparents, starving Ethiopian children, and your coworker Nathan who loves to share at every opportunity how he’s heroically refrained from joining social media and how much better his life is for it.
And guess who else won’t be in that group? The Pope.
Ladies and gentlemen, Pope Francis is on Instagram. And it’s not just noteworthy that he joined, but the way he joined.
On Twitter on Saturday, he wrote, “I am beginning a new journey, on Instagram, to walk with you along the path of mercy and the tenderness of God.”
Wow. And on top of that, his first post said the phrase “Pray for me” in nine languages.
That’s one hell of an entrance — oxymoron intended. If I declared my presence on Instagram the same way, I’m pretty sure my closest friends wouldn’t even follow me. And I would get reported for being evangelist spam.
I bet when the dudes who invented Instagram first conceived the idea in their parents’ basement, even at their highest point, they didn’t say, “Bro, people can use this app to post pictures, and like, talk to God.”
And the other one was like “Yeahhhhh bro. Wait, what?”
Obviously this speaks to the progressiveness of Pope Francis, and furthers his reputation as “the cool pope.”
Will I follow the Pope? I don’t know. I haven’t decided yet. I feel like by doing so, I am by extension becoming a follower of the Roman Catholic Church. And as a proud Jew, that would be an act of betrayal.
Although, the idea that I might be able to repent my sins in the comments section of Instagram is pretty appealing.
Like that time last week when I was on the street corner at night and called over to a —
You know what. I’ll stick to doing this in private.