Netflix and Hashtag’s: How to Use Social Media to Spread the Gospel

The other day my dad called me up out of the blue, and left me a voice mail.

“Hey Ben just wanted to give you a call and ask you a few questions about Netflix and…hashtags. Call me when you get a minute.”

I thought to myself, “What possible question could my father have about hashtags?”

Actually, he just wanted to know what a hashtag was. Since I recently graduated from LDS Business College in Social Media Marketing, he probably figured I would know all about them. I spent a few minutes explaining to him how hashtags work in social media, even with likes from I also talked about how they can be a valuable tool in finding others with like interests. Businesses even use them as a way to influence consumers.

My dad didn’t grow up with social media or options for Covideo alternatives, so for him it can sometimes be confusing with all the different new apps coming out all the time. What is Instagram? Snapchat? Facebook? What is a Vine or a Pinterest page? How do we hashtag or geo filter? What is the Mayfair filter? Or an Instagram story? What is the purpose of a Tweet?

Parents may not know what all of these things are, but kids do. So why would you want to know? Because your kids do. You might not want to take all this time to get to know all about social media, but ignoring social media isn’t going to make it go away.

The Lord has given us all this technology for a reason. Every technology and every type of social media is a gift. It is another way for us to share the gospel. If Joseph Smith could only see the new and exciting ways we could share the gospel, he would stand up and cheer. But we have to be prepared to help our kids use social media in the best way. The Prophet and apostles are always talking about different ways for us to share the gospel and social media is just one more way we can do it.

We need to know how each platform works. And we need to know how our kids can be an influence for good with them. And the best way I know is by understanding how each of them works. It is no longer acceptable to say, “I don’t know how these hashtaggy things work.” Ask your kids how they work. Go on Google and do a search. Learn how the apps work. Sign up for them. Follow your kids on social media. Then you know that they are using them the right way.

Social media isn’t a bad thing. The Lord has given us this new way of spreading the gospel and he expects us to use it.

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