Social Media, depending upon a person’s age, can be seen as a waste of time, a tool used to interact with your friends or something that can be informative and educational. Recently, there has been lots of discussion about how social media can change people’s perceptions of things based upon the articles that show up on their pages. Yet one aspect of social media that isn’t discussed much are the educational uses. During seminary we spent time looking at ways that the church could use social media for its benefit. Part of the final project was to create educational uses for social media. The group I was a part of, looked at Pinterest. Prior to the project, I saw pinterest as a platform mainly for sharing craft and cooking ideas. After all the demographics of Pinterest users is 81% female with an average age of 40 years old. (https://www.omnicoreagency.com/pinterest-statistics/) . Yet in continuing to look at the facts about the users, collectively they are an incredible market. For businesses the demographic is an exceptional value: 72% of users research products via pinterest, 93% said they use Pinterest to plan for purchases and 87% said they have purchased something because of Pinterest. So how could a faith community use Pinterest as well?
First, we must understand what Pinterest is. According to the Pinterest website, “Pinterest is where people discover new ideas and find inspiration to do the things they love! Pins are ideas that help you get creative or try something new, whether you’re planning a camping trip or collecting home improvement hacks. Pins are saved to boards, keeping your ideas organized and easy to find. Follow other people or boards that are saving ideas you’re interested in, so you can do even more of what you love. (https://help.pinterest.com/en/guide/all-about-pinterest)
Now that we understand what Pinterest is, we can see how can a faith community use the platform for good. There are loads of topics that are important to people that attend church. By creating boards on those topics and placing valuable information on them, the church is able to quickly help people find resources in times of need. When I created St. Matthew’s Pinterest account, I began by creating boards on subjects ranging from death, grief, hospice, book recommendations, and inspirational quotes, all of which are important to a faith community.
Creating the boards is only the first step though. Like all filing systems, it is important to keep the information up to date and meaningful. As time goes on, I hope the boards of St. Matthew’s will continue to increase and change. Pinterest is a social media platform after all so it cannot remain stagnant. Since its inception, St. Matthew’s pinterest account has increased to eighteen boards with more in the planning stages.
I encourage you to visit our boards and to explore the resources we have shared as well as recommending new board ideas. Pinterest is here to stay and it is no longer just for crafts and cooking! Our Pinterest boards can be found here.
These thoughts are not the thoughts of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church but rather of Fr. Jay. If you wish to read more of Fr. Jay’s posts, they can be found on his personal blog, non nobis solum nati sumus, whose title is a quote from Cicero “Not for ourselves are we born”