I have used the hashtags #NoMoreViolence #PrayforPeace too many times in the past few weeks. It seems we cannot go more than a few days before we are confronted with another terrorist attack, killings and more recently attacks on our police officers.
Social media is a place where we can publicly offer our prayers and support and express our solidarity with the victims. It is where we can join with a chorus of others calling for peace and #NoMoreViolence.
There is no doubt that we are praying for the victims and for an end to violence, but we can also express our love and concern for the victims publicly. These are times when we can call each other to prayer and advocate justice and peace for all people; when we can comfort the sorrowing. When our followers see these posts, they are comforted in knowing that their community feels the same sorrow they do. Clicking Like or sharing the Post is one way they can express their own love and compassion. Let’s create that opportunity for them.
When an event like the deaths of the three officers in Baton Rouge on Sunday, July 17, occurs, we need to respond quickly on social media. When the news media is “all over” the story–we can minister on social media. Here are two posts that I created on Sunday, one for Parish Facebook Pages that I support and and one for my own Twitter account.
My Facebook Post:
My Twitter Post:
— Sr. Susan Wolf, SND (@srsusan) July 17, 2016
It took about an 90 minutes to create these. I found the image on Pixabay; looked for Prayers for Police Officers on the Internet, but ended up writing my own; put the image and the prayer together using Canva; wrote the descriptions and then posted them. Yes, it was work and unexpected time spent–but where else would I have the opportunity to make this call to prayer and express the community’s compassion to several thousand people so quickly after the tragedy?
By using the hashtags #PrayforPeace and #NoMoreViolence in the posts, I indexed them with other posts containing the same hashtags. The hashtags become hyperlinks and anyone clicking on them or searching for them–will find the posts which used them. It is good for us to be found on these lists–it shows that we care for all people not just ourselves.
Does your community respond to national and world tragedies on social media? Tell us your experience.