About 521 images are uploaded to Instagram every second from all over the world. That equals about 45 million photos a day.
That’s a superabundance of images.
Many of us not only have Instagram on our phones, we also have additional companion apps to help us take image customization to another level. I’ve been fascinated by the evolution of our relationship with this social network, and I’m amazed at how people are growing with their use of the app.
We fell in love with Twitter because of its simplicity and 140 character limit. Instagram took our communication to another level, to a place where language wasn’t much of a barrier. This app lets us speak 1,000 words through a 612 pixel square.
Many times, people haven’t even known what to share, so there’s been an endless amount of pointless images probably not worth anyone’s time. Once you get past the selfies and the pictures of food, this app has helped many people find their inner artist. We’ve learned to share our lives through visual expression.
Don’t get me wrong, I mean no offense to real photographers. We all know that canned, standardized filters on a picture don’t automatically make it fine art, but it has taught users to think about visual elements and principles of art and design. The average person can produce charming and excellent images instantly to be shared with the world.
With events like World Youth Day and a shepherd like Pope Francis, we’ve come to see how powerfully images can give witness to Jesus Christ. The ability to share our faith through images is an effective tool we can use to engage the world in the public square and show the light of faith.
This spring I wrote about the mission field that exists in Tumblr, and now I want to just give 7 quick tips to be Catholic on Instagram.
- Share pictures of life at your parish
Show what happens at the true life blood of the Church. There’s the mass and so much more that happens as we grow in community. This could be the best invitation anyone will see.
- Share elements of the faith in your everyday life
Show how your faith extends beyond the parish grounds and on more than just Sunday.
- Post beyond the #Catholic hashtag
Sure, you can use #Catholic in your images, but most people won’t be looking for that. Share the faith outside the bubble.
- Incorporate scripture into your image or caption when you can
The Living Word has many applications in our daily life. Sharing even one verse may be the only scripture people see that day, week, or month.
- Share the beauty of creation and praise the Creator
Earth, animals, and people can best express a beauty that proclaims the Truth of a creator. Don’t hesitate to give God the glory.
- Mention your faith in your bio
This will help keep you accountable, helps you connect with other Catholics, and shows that it is a core part of who you are through your image timeline.
- Be Authentic
Don’t worry about trying too hard. The most interesting and attractive witness is the one that is honest. A word of caution: even though its instant, take a moment to think about it before posting. You never want to regret sharing too much about you or others.