Recently I saw a number of Facebook posts from a friend that led me to have a certain view of the trip they were on. When I spoke to this friend when they returned, they had a different opinion of the trip than that which appeared on Facebook. When I asked them about the difference they responded “you had to be there to understand”. The fact is I wasn’t there and I didn’t understand.
One of the hardest things about a WYD pilgrimage is knowing how to share the experience with others who aren’t with you. With the development of social networking we have to understand how to share the pilgrimage as we travel along the pilgrimage as well as when we get home. Here are a few tips for sharing your pilgrimage on any social network platform or blog:
- Stay positive: each day has ups and downs whilst on pilgrimage yet people may not get that if you only post during the hard times. Keep the posts or status updates positive. If you want to share a hard experience share what you learnt from the experience instead of the negative details.
- Use pictures: they say a picture tells a thousand words so use pictures to share the experience. Keep the pictures clean/suitable and ask for permission from the people in the picture. One negative or harsh picture can do a lot of damage back home.
- If you “had to be there” don’t post it: people often tell funny stories from their trips overseas and end with “you had to be there”. In reality the people back home aren’t there and may not find your experience funny. So if you “had to be there” to understand what you are about to post then don’t post it.
- Spare us the details: many people back home want to stay in touch with what you are experiencing but they don’t want to read through all the fine details that even other pilgrims would find boring. Keep your blog posts short (about 300-400 words) and focus on one event per post or status update.
- Under 18’s: remember that students under 18 should not have their pictures on your social networking unless you have their parents permission. It is safer and easier to refrain from posting information about student who are on your pilgrimage and under 18.
- “What happens on tour …”: it is often said about rugby tours that what happens on tour stays on tour. We hope that you will be proud of your behaviour when you get home and can share most things about yourself with everyone. However it is important to keep the things you learn about other people confidential. You can tell your story but let other people share their stories. If you must share an experience that involves someone else then get their permission first.
Used correctly, social networking and blogs can help people to be able to share in the pilgrimage experience from their computer back home. Your social networking and blogging habits can be a key part of evangelising this event.
Please post a comment