Pope Francis’ American tour broke the internet this week.
We’ve seen the power of social media this week. From all the tweets, Facebook messages and Instagram posts people, media organizations and nonprofits capitalized on Pope Francis’ first visit to America.
Nearly 297,000 tweets included the hashtag #PopeinDC during the Pope’s two-day stay in our nation’s capital, according to Topsy.com, a social analytics website. #PopeinNYC tweets started trending with 139,000 sent prior to the start of the mass at Madison Square Garden.
Twitter created special emojis to commemorate his historic visit. The emojis appear automatically on Twitter after people use particular hashtags, such as #PopeinUS, #PopeinDC, #PopeinNYC, #PopeinPhilly. Another firm, Swyft Media of New York City, even created some Pope emojis, available for free download on androids or iPhones.
People took selfies, posted memes and videos of Pope Francis being escorted through town in his tiny Fiat before riding the in the parade. A young girl captured the hearts of millions when she made it past security to deliver a personal message to the Pope regarding immigration. (I dare you to watch the video and not cry. She pulls at your heart strings as she asks for protection for her family.)
Sometimes our desire to record historic events leaves some people to believe we are actually missing extraordinary moments of our lifetime. I feel pulled at both ends with this belief. In one-way I believe our lives do revolve too much around digital technology. Sometimes it’s easier to interact with our phones than another human being.
I love the awestruck expression of on the older woman’s face; especially in the sea of smartphones. That being said. however, in this instance I would pull out my cell phone as well to record the Pope coming down the street. After all, the beauty of recording with our cell phones is we can watch exactly what is being recorded instantly.
Now if our politicians would just take what Pope Francis said to heart. I hope he his speech got through to them and help them realize they are working for the American people – all people, not just the one percenters. Maybe our elected officials could learn humility.