For my case study on how religion is presented through a social media platform, I have chosen to look at the effect Twitter has had on the expanse of Christianity through the tweets and re-tweets of influential Christian leaders. Even though Twitter was created in 2006, it began receiving its popularity ratings in mid-2009 and has now become as popular as Facebook, if not more. Twitter is now the main feed of any person’s thoughts, ideas, emotions and actions—if he or she so chooses.
On the other hand, religious practices in Christianity today have altered to the demands of the 21st century. What I mean by this is that no longer do many Christians go to church and sing out of hymnals and sit in pews—no; many churches today have “pop-like” worship songs and praise God in whichever stance they prefer (sitting, kneeling, standing, dancing, running, etc.). Not to say this is bad (in fact, I prefer it this way) but it has adjusted to our fast-paced generation that is not accustomed to the “thou’s” and “thee’s” but instead “You” and “my King”. Our generation has become more personal in the wordings of our worship songs.
With this being said, Christianity has also found a new way to reach the audiences of today’s generation. It has adjusted to the way in which young people today receive information—social media. After being a Twitter user for a few months now, I have chosen to research the effect Christian leaders’ tweets have had on their followers—followers being both Christians and non-Christians. I want to look at the expanse Christianity has had since the advent of Twitter and if that expanse is still growing. I will be analyzing the tweets of Christian authors, pastors, speakers, evangelists, missionaries, and musical artists and noting how many re-tweets they receive based off their postings. I will also be looking at their re-tweeting followers to see how many of their followers re-tweet those postings. My goal through this assignment is to see how modern-day religion, specifically Christianity, is played out through the use of this new, highly prominent type of social media.