Social media is a blessing in disguise if we use it wisely. JY Australia’s first ever WhatsApp group was the ‘Holy Rosary’ group.Holy Spirit gathered some women from different regions of Australia – JY’s and non JY’s, youth & adults alike to hold our Mother’s hands. While driving the car, nursing the baby, cooking, doing laundry, waiting for public transport, taking her evening stroll, hundreds of ladies in this group has prayed for specific or general Intentions – just by offering up Rosaries. The beads are still blooming on the Roses even now, after 6 years and still going strong. Intercession ministry grew initially through WhatsApp. After the ‘Holy Rosary’ group, many other regions started their own WhatsApp groups – not just for communication but for intercession purposes. A powerful medium not just to make friends and share forwards, but to join hands in prayers, being in one’s own situations, accompanied by the Spirit to be the helper for those who need prayers. Also I share the word of God to my family and friend – Christians and non-Christians on a daily basis to learn and grow in God’s word.

Sabitha Shijo, Melbourne, Australia

A couple years ago, I found myself assessing my relationship with social media and realizing the negative way it was affecting my life. I then decided to delete various colourful apps on my phone including Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter. For nearly a year, I didn’t log onto any of my accounts, limiting my social media to the bare minimum. However, as I grew deeper in my faith, I realized anything could be used as a tool for God’s glory if He willed it. In fact, my own spiritual life was nurtured by Catholic media including podcasts, recorded sermons, and articles. Recognizing how much the online Catholic community was remotely affecting the faithful worldwide, I slowly tackled my phobia of social media. I made a new Facebook account and followed many Catholic pages. I logged back into Instagram and changed my bio to read something Christ-centred. To this day, my social media presence is very limited, but what I’ve come to realize is that the Good News is not meant for me to keep to myself. For this reason, whenever I come across particularly touching Catholic content, I’ll share it on my feed or send it on group chat with a prayer that it will inspire someone to grow in their relationship with our Lord.

Alicia Sreeny, Texas, USA

Weird as it may sound, the only social media I use is WhatsApp. I love to interact with people and after knowing my Lord, my friend list shot up even more, though with the sole purpose of rescuing souls, yet fell flat for wrong reasons until God’s word pricked me with the four D’s – Discipline, Discern, Devout, Diligent.Good can turn to evil and social media can be tempting if we do not discipline it’s use. 1 Cor 10:12 says – “So if you think you are standing, watch out that you don’t fall”. And it is true whether we admit it or not. Secondly discern the purpose wisely, discreetly, not carelessly. Hosea exhorts in 14:9, “For whoever discerns the ways of Lord will not stumble.” Thirdly, be devoted to God not men. I urge you to analyse our hearts where it lies whether in tune with Apostle John’s verse 3:30 – “I must decrease and He must increase”. Check on false vanity. The last D sums it up – use diligently. One who takes great care in serving the Lord bears fruit worthy for Our King.

Vinita Boban, Brisbane, Australia

For me social media has affected me in a good as well as bad ways. By being on social media, I am able to spread the Gospel, being part of different group chats that are passionate about God. By following different Catholic pages, I am able to grow as an individual through learning about Catholic faith.Being part of the national media team, we learned how to adapt best to social media – learning how to post materials in a way that attracts the millennium crowd, such as posting short, simple but effective videos, funny memes, redesigning websites to attract new generation crowd, and having a presence in the everyday media platforms. In all this, never compromising on a Christ centred approach.

Joel Alex , Canada

Three words that would prove useful in delivering Good news to one’s followers on social media – KNOW, ATTRACT & INSPIRE. Most important of all  is ‘knowing’ our crowd. One reason Bible has got so many stories is because as our understanding is limited, through the different scenarios and stories best suited for our life situation, we are better able to comprehend Divine Love.The next is to ‘attract’ – ensure that a message or post is relevant for today’s living. For example, a personal story or our daily experience paired with God’s word might be a lot more helpful when trying to spread the Good news.Last but not the least, ‘inspire’. Let us aim to live the Gospel, and be good witnesses. To inspire anyone, we would need to build that curiosity towards the secret of our peaceful and joyful life.

Charlene Andrade, Karnataka, India