Adam J. Copeland, guest blogger at the New Media Project at Union theological, reflects on the opportunities and challenges of Pinterest in“Inspiration pinned: The rise of spiritual quotes on Pinterest”
“Be uncommon.” “You are always stronger than you think you are.” “Be so happy that when others look at you they become happy too.” These are three of the many quotes on my Pinterest pinboard. Though originally designed with design-related images in mind, Pinterest has become a prime destination for the sharing of inspirational quotes, many of which have religious undertones.
For the uninitiated, Pinterest is a social photo-sharing website on which users manage a “virtual pinboard.” It ranks in the top 50 websites in traffic, according to Alexa.com. A Quotes category for organization was launched this summer, and it is estimated to make up around ten percent of Pinterest’s traffic.
… Life is more than a pinboard. Faith is more than a quote. The life well lived does not fit on even a gorgeously designed screen print, no matter the typeface. And yet, on Pinterest, the search for life’s meaning—or at least how to get through the day—is on.
So, rather than demeaning the shallow nature of most spiritual/religious Pinterest quotes, faith leaders should take a gander and try to discern what is going on with users beneath their clicks, pins, and likes. In fact, we might even start a trend ourselves. Here’s a few of my own, ready to be made sharable and rendered in fancy font:
“The Spirit moves in mysterious ways…even online.”
“Pinning, liking, and sharing alone? Be bigger than your profile.”
“Love God. Love neighbor. Share that.”