Going Viral

Going viral.  It finally happened.  One of my posts on Facebook “went viral”.  I’ve had a few articles we’ve posted here do pretty well in the past.  Some have been shared in other countries, and viewed by thousands of people. But nothing has taken off like a simple meme I shared last week.  As of this writing, it has been liked over 8,000 times, had 24,000 comments and been shared by over 150,000 people. 

So what was this brilliant post that got shared by so many people? It was the simple meme shown here. Thanos sniping his fingers and turning an elf on the shelf into candy cane dust.  I didn’t create this, I just shared it.  Granted, I was probably one of the first people to post it after finding it on another page.  But for some reason, my page was where everyone wound up sharing it from. 

Where Did That Come From?  

It’s been too difficult to go back and try and trace how this happened.  I wish I could figure out the formula to get posts seen.  I’m sure that unless you are a seasoned influencer, these things are hard to pin down.  Trust me, if I knew exactly what it was that caused this to be shared that many times, I would have applied it to one of my articles here!  

But there are a few things l gleaned from this experience that I think have relevance to the Christian worldview.  Going viral is the goal of so many of us on social media.  No one wants to post things that aren’t looked at or read and appreciated.  We all hope we are putting out things that others will find useful or edifying. 

Take Opportunities When They Present Themselves

I certainly wasn’t planning on having this post explode the way it did.  But once it did, I decided to pop a few links to the blog and podcast into the comment section.  Why not?  It’s my page and my comment section. Who knows if one of those people may find something in what we’ve written that might lead them to Christ? 

The point is to always look for opportunities.  Sometimes we may overlook something as simple as commenting on something we read, giving encouragement or offering a different opinion on something we disagree with.  Be alert for these divine appointments.  They may be more numerous than you realize!

Use Social Media To Your Advantage

Never in the course of human history has the average person had so much power to get their message out.  You no longer have to be rich to afford a platform.  We don’t have to work our way into the papers or on the local news.  There are avenues such Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram that all allow individuals equal access to an audience. 

Going Viral

With one click you can reach people almost anywhere in the world.  You have that power and that ability.  What are you going to do with it?  We can use our platforms to bring positive and life-giving messages to the world.  That’s becoming a rare thing.   It should be in the forefront of our thinking as we use social media however.  

They Shared THAT?

As I said, this was not the post I would have picked to go viral.  I would have much preferred one of my articles or podcasts to get this sort of traffic.  But this just goes to show, we aren’t always in control of what gets shared off of our social media platforms.  Always think before you post.  Is this something that I want large numbers of people seeing?  How does this reflect on my character?  

We also need to be aware that if we identify strongly with Jesus, then the things we post will, fairly or not, be attached to Him.  I’m sure you were told, as was I, to “Not give the family a bad name”.  This rule applies to us as Christians as well.  That off-color joke may seem harmless at the time.  But always remember that the things we do and the way we act reflects on our Lord.  

I hope this has given you some useful things to ponder.  And I pray that Christians will continue to use their voice on social media and in the public square to give hope to all people.  We have unprecedented access to platforms that help us share our message of the good news of Jesus Christ.  Let’s take advantage of it!

Discuss your thoughts for this post on our Facebook Group here.