Through my observations these past couple weeks, I have noticed a trend in the examples that I have chosen- all are a reflection of their personal time with the Lord. In the three examples displaying bible verses, all the posts revealed either what they had been reading, something that made them stop and think, or something that they were looking forward to; but in all instances, their post was a reflection, however small, of their personal interaction with the Bible. In the three examples that had captions asking for prayer, their posts revealed what was going on in their personal lives right at that moment and that they were thinking of God in the midst of it. The fact that they were asking for prayer displayed their belief in the power of prayer and their trust in God to answer it.
Another trend I have noticed is that the user’s audience seems to be other Christians. In posting bible verses and asking for prayer, both are aimed at their Christian followers. Bible verses were posted in hopes to encourage other believers, and followers that do not hold the words of the Bible to be true may not find the same amount of encouragement from a verse from the Bible that a Christian follower would. In the postings asking for prayer, their intention was to engage their fellow believers in praying for them and their situation. Through this common trend, I can summarize that there is a strong sense of community between Christians, and Instagram is one of the ways that they choose to interact and display that community.
After a couple weeks of observing and taking notice of certain trends, I have come to a final research question that will help me focus as I dig deeper into this study of user-generated religion in social media:
“This case study is exploring how Christians perform and live out religion in their daily lives through Instagram measured through examination of their posts and how people respond to them.”