SnapChat Explained to Adults

by Sr. Susan Wolf, SND on May 24, 2016

in Uncategorized

SnapChatEvery once in a while someone asks me about SnapChat.  It is a mobile app that is very popular with teenagers.  Its most intriguing feature is that messages disappear 10 seconds after being read and public posts disappear after 24 hours.  I have downloaded it to my phone and have an account.  However, my teenage years are long behind me and I am not a “snapchatterer,” nor do I have any friends or family that would be interested in “snapchatting” with me.  Thus, I do not use SnapChat. That being said, it’s still a good idea to know what our teens are using to communicate with their friends.

In trying to answer the occasional questions about SnapChat, I did a search of the Internet and found a simple and helpful explanation which I am now sharing with you.  Take a few minutes to view the video below.  The next time the topic comes up you will know what people (mostly teens) are talking about.

You can read the article that goes with this video here.

Social Media for Ministry

When it comes to social media platforms suitable for ministry, I recommend them in this order: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

  • Facebook provides the largest reach potential across generations. It is the most important social media tool to use. I think it is a “must.”
  • Twitter is a platform popular with young adults.
  • YouTube is the second largest search engine. If you are able, create videos that share who you are and what you have to offer that adds value to people’s lives. Post them to YouTube if you want to be found.
  • Instagram appeals to younger audiences and requires that you be posting photos that connect you and your ministry with their lives and interests.

Not everyone wants or knows how to use social media for ministry. Many church groups use it for announcements–which is okay, but that is not ministry–it’s announcements.  When you use social media for ministry, you post content (which sometimes may include announcements) that builds community with your followers, is faith-based and adds value to their everyday lives. To be successful using social media as ministry, you must fashion your message to fit the platform you are using and the audience you are addressing.

Comments are welcome.

My next post will be June 7th.

May you have an enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend.  Please take a moment to remember and say a prayer for all of those who made the ultimate sacrifice while defending our country.  May they rest in peace.  Amen.



{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Pat Sylvester May 24, 2016 at 7:43 am

This is really interesting. It makes you wonder what technological phenomenon will top the next one? I am glad to know about SnapChat
and the video was very helpful. Thanks again Susan for bringing this “non-teen” up to date!

marika May 24, 2016 at 8:42 am

what I love about snapchat it the “story” feature. You can record snaps (10 second videos) and send them to your “story” and so you can very easily create a short video. The one drawback is that Snapchat only records vertical. If you record landscape, you need to use a secondary app (like youtube editor) to rotate the video to playback in landscape. If you want to see a really good use of this check out Fr. Roderick’s vlog – it is mostly filmed with snapchat. Here is a sample:

Carla Hlavac May 24, 2016 at 8:55 am

Thanks for the enlightening video and article! Most kids I know use SnapChat and Instagram, but I was a bit lost on both. The kids at my horse barn gave me a tutorial on Instagram last week, and this SnapChat info helped me as well. I administer our diocesan Facebook and Twitter, and I think we need an Instagram now as well.

Fran Rossi Szpylczyn May 24, 2016 at 9:02 am

My attraction to and rejection of Snapchat is about equal. I am curious but have never even looked. That story feature does intrigue me!

Carol Miles June 1, 2016 at 10:03 pm

Aloha, So glad to hear social media is being encouraged to support the Catholic Faith. I am a late deafened adult, texting, and voice to text on the I phone are essential to living my life as I always have.
Presently I am advocating for ClosedCaptioned Mass and for Conferences Bible studies ETC. There are at least 12 million Catholics who do not attend Mass because they cannot hear. These folks are not part of the deaf culture they speak English not ASL. There are over 48 million of them across all age groups this include Returning Vets, number one injury is hearing loss. All of us deserve not to be marginalized and excluded from the Mass and other faith building venues. The secular world has us covered . Pass it on. Carol

John K Riordan June 2, 2016 at 1:13 pm

I’ve never used SnapChat. I’m certain that video, including live video, is a medium that the church should embrace strongly. As, Sr. Susan said, YouTube is the second largest search engine on the web, but getting found on YouTube is much easier than getting found on Google. I did a site for a while featuring more than 1,000 Catholic YouTube videos. The general quality is very poor. There’s no excuse for this because high quality videos can be produced quite economically, even with cell phones and webcams. Presently I’m researching the nuts and bolts of creating online video courses. It’s a perfect fit for online structured catechetics and retreats. I may pursue this as an entrepreneurial venture.

Carol Miles June 2, 2016 at 1:23 pm

Please also incorporate Closed Captioning for those HOH and lately deafened. You participation and response will be much larger, as 1 in 5 adults need CC. Carol

John K Riordan June 2, 2016 at 2:00 pm

Hi Carol, earlier today I ran across an app which converts audio to text. Is this something you’re able to do? I could possibly dig up the link…

John K Riordan June 2, 2016 at 2:02 pm

Carol, thanks for that very useful suggestion. Any web venture I undertake will be Accessible, to the best of my abilities. I presently work for a company which provides home care to people with disabilities, so I’m sensitive to these issues.

Carol Miles June 2, 2016 at 3:32 pm

As Catholics we really need to strongly advocate for captioned Mass.. 90%. Of Catholics who have hearing loss do not attend Mass an estimated 12 million, including retired Religious. The church needs to begin to understand that ASL is nit their language their language is English, they are not mute they speak,. That means in Seminars and conferences that are captioned they can fully participate in discussions as they always have before losing their hearing. Of course the Mass is for all to,participate in but when a person cannot hear the prayers, liturgy hymns or homily it makes it impossible without ClosedCaptions. So speak out if you would about this issue. Right now there are no “ramps” for us. I am advocating in my Parish. It is a rough road. Thanks for your work. Caro

John K Riordan June 2, 2016 at 3:47 pm

Most parishes, it seems to me, have ramps now. But recently I caught a few mintues of our local “Mass for shut-ins” on TV. It was not captioned! (Maybe they have an interpreter in the studio. Or maybe the captions need to be turned on by me on my set? I’ll check these things again this weekend.) An interpreter *can* be on camera all the time with a simple picture-in-picture. Every parish should have an interpreter at at least one Mass every weekend. Are there some who object to this on theological or pastoral grounds, as a “distraction” from the Mass, or as the presence of an unqualified “co-celebrant”?

Carol Miles June 2, 2016 at 4:29 pm

ASL is not the language of late deafened. English and the spoken word is, as it always was. Spanish speaking also benefit from CC since it is easily translated. EWTN has all Masses Divine Mercy Chaplet, and Rosary CC as well as most other programs. CC is verbatim delivered by a court reporter or professional captioning company. It can be delivered remotely via Internet to large group gathering on screen as well as individual, IPads and IPhone using an app. All of the messages delivered by Pope Francis were closed captioned on the large screens outdoors wherever he went as well as TV of course. It is universal communication under Canon law as well as ADA. Prayfully, Carol

John K Riordan June 2, 2016 at 4:48 pm

Mother Angelica was a pioneer, as was Fulton Sheen, in the use of video. Frs. Rosica and Barron are the present high-water mark for the use of video in evangelization and catechetics. (I don’t watch EWTN, don’t watch TV period.) Even Michael Voris, formerly a news broadcaster, whatever we make of him and his nasty diatribes, does technically better videos than most Catholic vloggers on YouTube. My favorite secular vlogger is Steve Dotto, aka DottoTech, who spent years in broadcast television as a tech guru before starting his YouTube channel. He gives away much of his screencasting knowledge in one YouTube video and sells some other screencasting courses that I just might buy… unfortunately more expensive than anything on Udemy, but probably much better.

Carol Miles June 2, 2016 at 4:56 pm

To my knowledge no one is objecting to CC for theological reasons.

Carol Miles June 2, 2016 at 5:06 pm

There was only one Mother Angelica!!!! You tube close captions a lot of news short videos etc. The secular world pretty much has us covered. Went to see a movie at our new Theater they have captioned glasses, just like Google glass. Really wonderful because you can focus your eyes on the screen. The other theatres have small caption boxes but you have to keep looking up and down . However I will use either one. All Theaters here have accessibility. In California and other States live theater have Open and Closed Captioning. Kennedy Center for the Arts has ASL, CC and Assistive Listening devices. Check out HLAA on line. God Bless Carol

John K Riordan June 2, 2016 at 5:53 pm

This is just a follow up to my comment about not watching EWTN. Evangelizers need to understand that traditional broadcast TV is dying. Cable TV is dying. Streaming media and video-on-demand is taking over, and the medium is wide-open to the church. My Roku 3 streaming media player has more than 1,000 channels (the new Roku 4, I read, has thousands more). Most of those channels are free and hundreds of them are created by churches and ministries, typically small Evangelical outfits. I don’t think it costs much to create a Roku channel. And I hope everyone knows that mobile has eclipsed desktop PCs in most respects. Most searches, webviews, clicks are happening on mobile devices now. If your parish website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re behind the curve. A mobile app called My Parish is quite well done, but I can tell that most parishes which use the app are not utilizing it well. (Christ the King Parish, Ann Arbor, is doing a pretty good job with My Parish, yet I can still see room for improvement.) Parishes need to repurpose their content–bulletins, calendars, videos, etc.–so it appears in the My Parish app attractively, engagingly, legibly. I would like to see something like My Parish for retreat houses, homeless shelters and other places of refuge for mobile populations. The church needs a renewed theology of gospel itinerancy to speak to our “age of mobility”.

Carol Miles June 2, 2016 at 8:05 pm

Hi John, Very interesting information and thoughts. I suppose you are right about media and how it is changing. Since I am 77 and grew up without TV in my childhood, then ended up learning computer, etc etc. I realize how rapidly things change. in the interim it is my passion to advocate for HOH and late deafened inclusion In The Mass. There is a universal access available in CC here and now. down the road who knows? I love tech it helps me live my life. So keep promoting all the new innovations . That is a noble cause as well. I will look up Rok4u Carol

John K Riordan June 2, 2016 at 8:22 pm

Hey Carol, what’s HOH?

I’m 63 and, while not deaf, I’m definitely experiencing hearing loss, probably the result of over-amplified headphone listening in my teens. I have chronic ringing in my ears too, but it’s not the hell some tininitis sufferers report.

I have a physical disability. I can walk, but with difficulty. I grew up around people in wheelchairs, in “special ed class”. I’m thinking of seeking employment as a teacher’s aide at a Catholic high school nearby for “special needs” students, the only one in the nation, they say.

Carol Miles June 2, 2016 at 8:44 pm

Correction Rok u 4 Good for you Go for it! Heard of Hearing HOH. Moct people do not want to admit hearling loss because there is a social stigma attached to it. I heard a pin drop for 74 yrs then suddenly no voices a few sounds only. Recommended cochlear implant probably two $80,000. Months and months of training my husband is 85, I did not want him to try to have to learn all the new stuff and spend hours and hours plus two surgeries. Cochkear implant users still cannot hear well in movies and large gatherings use CC outcome is iffy and unknown. Good for children born deaf along with speach they will mainstream in school. hope you pursue you teaching.

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