Social Media and Spirituality with Heather Thompson Day

We’re back with another installment of our Faith Shakers series–talking to people who are doing work in the name of faith in “not so typical places,” using nontraditional ways to bring life and light to people’s lives. One of the not so typical places people of faith are congregating more than ever is on social media. So many of us have a love/hate relationship with the medium. Sometimes it gives us the feeling of connection and community–especially during times where connection in person isn’t possible (remember the pandemic lockdown, everyone?). Other times, it can be a source of stress, a place where we’re constantly comparing ourselves to others, an alternate reality of only our “best selves” shown to the world through carefully curated content. Religion, faith and spirituality have their place on social media, and with emerging generations–millennials, Gen X’ers–many have never known life without it. But how do we navigate that quality of instant gratification that social media so readily supplies and find true connection and community that will challenge us, instruct us, and maybe even pastor us in the digital space?  This week’s guest has done a lot of work looking at and studying digital communication spaces, and she is here to pass on what she has found so that we can better know the power of digital  communication and make social connections that are positive, productive and beneficial. Heather Thompson Day is the host of Viral Jesus, a podcast that discusses these very things. She’s also an associate professor of communication at Andrews University and she’s intent on serving students and women in navigating the digital space toward the best possible end–good self image, finding conviction and even handling disagreements. This isn’t your grandma’s Sunday school class y’all–Heather gives us the tools to find a whole different way of experiencing our faith through our social channels.