Thursday, October 10, 2013

Week 7- Focusing Observations and Looking for Trends in Lived Religion Online

This week I took a look at a couple more examples of posts that the three Facebook pages I am studying have made. With this new information I will compare and contrast my post from last week with the new examples.

From Jesus Daily:
“Our Father, which art in heaven,
Holy be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth, 
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us. 
And lead us not into temptation, 
But deliver us from evil. 
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever.

Describe God in 1 word! Click Share to encourage Friends who may have worries, fears and problems today.”

 Jesus Daily's photo.
“Like if you believe Jesus is bigger than your problems!!!”

From T.D. Jakes Ministries:
“Focus on your accomplishments, not your failures. Count your blessings. Celebrate the life you’ve been given.”
“If you are going to enjoy your relationship with God, you must start spending time with Him. Make prayer a priority.”

From Joel Osteen Ministries:
“Pressure can make or break you. The only difference between a piece of black coal and a priceless diamond is the amount of pressure it has endured.”
“Nothing you face will be too much for you. You will overcome every obstacle, outlast every challenge, and come through every difficulty better off than you were before.”

The posts made by Joel Osteen and T.D. Jakes were motivational messages that stressed the idea of never giving up in life because your breakthrough is coming. They also focused on being thankful for what you have and who watches over you, God. Like before, Joel’s posts generated more activity than T.D. Jakes’ posts because of a larger following as well as a more interactive experience between the pages creator and those who follow the page. Jesus Daily on the other hand had one post that was the Lord’s Prayer, and one post that had their trademark visual element. Jesus Daily seems to focus on the interactions and emotions they can trigger with their posts. They mostly achieve this with emotional pictures that have captions that encourage likes and comments. 

One of the primary messages I observed from the examples I chose is the message that life is hard and we are going to struggle but as long as we stay strong and trust in God we will make it through whatever tribulations we are facing. Along with that message is the idea that these trials and tribulations will make you stronger in your faith as well as a more polished human being, or as Joel Osteen put it, “a priceless diamond.” Another message that these examples communicated was the importance of prayer. Prayer allows for you to have a personal relationship with God, which should be every Christian’s desire. Prayer is also important because it allows us to intercede for others who need God’s help. 

The patterns I noticed from this week’s examples are the motivational messages that both Joel Osteen and T.D.Jakes used. Jesus Daily on the other hand stuck to its usual trend of posting pictures with captions, however they did sneak in the Lord’s Prayer which is a bit atypical of their usual posts. All three pages generated activity from their followers. The followers used these pages to show how they construct or perform religion on social media. They choose to use it as a forum for questions, prayer, and scripture. It has become a way to interact with people of like faith around the world. 

These trends and messages fell in line with those that were highlighted in last week’s post. This just goes to show that these pages have established a game plan or script to use when attempting to construct and perform religion on the social media platform of Facebook.

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