Of course Jesus doesn’t have an Instgram account but if he did, it would probably be the best Instagram account on the internet. Here, writer Rebecca Hunter-Kelm imagines how @JesusOfficial would use social media.
Instagram has 1.440 billion users worldwide and has become one of the primary ways to stay connected to people. From memes that make you lol to accounts that provide you with encouraging, uplifting and educational value, that enticing screenfull of tiny little squares can be one heck of a rabbit-hole.
If Jesus was walking the earth in 2023 (and had a smartphone), would he have an Instagram account, and if so, have you ever asked yourself how he would he use it? Maybe he would use @jesusoffical to connect with accounts run by pillars of the faith - after all, there are loads of incredible Instagram pages that point us to Christ and truth from the word. However, because a 30-second reel on a Bible devotional account doesn’t even come close to spending quality time with the Father, I’m pretty sure @jesusoffical wouldn’t let scroll time interfere with the regular practice of being in God’s presence.
Social media helps us feel connected to others, but anyone who goes to check Insta for “just five minutes” knows it’s easy to look up and realise an hour has gone by. We all know that once you start scrolling, it’s hard to stop. I can’t imagine Jesus wasting hours and hours mindlessly thumbing his screen each evening. He would spend his time in more worthwhile ways. Who knows, perhaps @jesusoffical would even use (and stick to) his screen time limit function.
If @jesusoffical was on socials, he wouldn’t allow it to dominate his life - he would take regular fasts from Instagram.
Social media can be addictive, and the dopamine hit that rewards our brains when we get a like or comment leaves us wanting more. Evidence shows that social media addiction is not unlike a substance addiction. If @jesusoffical was on socials, he wouldn’t allow it to dominate his life, and he would take regular fasts from Instagram - to draw closer to God and to take a break from the constant bombardment of stimulation and communication that it provides.
Even though Instagram can help keep us connected with news of what’s happening worldwide, I don’t believe God designed us to know everything happening all around the world at all times, and this overwhelming information can harm our mental health. I reckon @jesusoffical would limit his consumption of Instagram news accounts - or perhaps forgo them altogether.
Jesus said: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8. So I imagine that’s what would fill his feed and his timeline; content that glorified God and Kingdom values. @jesusoffical would post and share the underdog’s content, championing small brands and artists making a living using their God-given talents #tentmaking. He’d use his platform to uplift and encourage others.
I imagine he would fill his feed and his timeline with content that glorified God and Kingdom values.
He certainly wouldn’t search for his validation on Instagram. Among the tide of self-obsessed and often downright vain selfie culture, the @jesusoffical feed would be genuine, honest, and humble. Not in a fake way, mind - he’d still celebrate his friends and special moments in selfies #lakeofgalilee #gonefishing.
If his time on earth is anything to go by, @jesusoffical would have a lot of trolls and online hate. He would be a disrupter, speaking up for minorities and injustice - even when today’s equivalent of the Pharisees would try to shut him down. He’d forgive the trolls (and block them… boundaries are important to Jesus).
I also imagine that @jesusoffical would never let social media replace breaking bread with others in real life. His phone would be switched off and in a drawer during supper with friends. #breadandwine #fellowship #reclineatthetable.
If Jesus had an Instagram account, he would use it in a way that attracted people to the Kingdom of God. He would use it to build an authentic community and maybe even give a few close friends his password for accountability, so Insta never became a source of temptation for sin. Jesus would also remember that Instagram is not real life. And maybe, he would opt not to have an account at all and instead focus on life on this side of the screen.