Instagram is a nice diversion. I enjoy taking pictures, adding a filter and making it look like I take better pictures than I actually do. As far as social networks go, though, it is still well behind Twitter, Facebook and even Foursquare.
And I guess that means I’m old.
Over the past few months I have noticed the students in our high school ministry using Instagram more and more. I recently asked them to name their favorite social network and Instragram topped the majority of their lists. I like Instagram and I check it once or twice a day. Our students, however, check it often, take pictures, tag their friends and comment on each other’s posts.
Technology is changing our world at a fascinating rate and social networks aren’t immune to that effect. I’ve been more than happy for a few years with the combination of Twitter and Facebook. Twitter is my favorite social network but Facebook is great for reaching the largest number of people. I hadn’t even thought about embracing a new social network but, since Instagram is so popular with our students, I may have to.
If we want to have influence in the lives of others, then we need to be willing to engage them where they’re comfortable. Obviously, if the other person is comfortable in a strip club, then we shouldn’t meet them there. But if they’re comfortable meeting on Instagram, at a coffee shop or at an anime convention, then we should be willing to meet them there.
So much of influencing others is being willing to go out and meet someone in their world. Jesus wanted to influence us so he came down to us. If we want to influence others we have to go to them.
So even though I’m an old man who only uses Instagram to take pictures of food and sunsets, I can still influence students. No matter how far we feel like we have to go to influence others, the distance traveled is always worth it. And we can always take pictures along the way.
How have you gone out of your way to influence others?