Sensationalism and Technology: Tools for Evangelization

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By Joshua Nelson

Do you ever see a big headline that catches your eye? Maybe it was one of those random Buzzfeed quizzes, like “we know which kind of person you are if you pick these photos.” Every day we are bombarded with new content through social media and news sources, and in the face of an overwhelming amount of information, it is only the articles with the catchiest titles that seem to get any attention at all. Upon clicking one of these articles, you might find that the headline had little to do with the actual article content, but the author still got the click and your attention for mere seconds.

I have heard the argument that it is pointless to attempt to evangelize through today’s technology because it will be lost in the sheer volume of information everyone encounters on a daily basis. In addition, evangelization through media is not as authentic as real life, person-to-person conversations, as it is based on enticing headlines and sensationalism. Yet, these flashy headlines are what draw the reader into the meat and potatoes of the topic at hand, and once a reader is drawn in, the writer is free to go any which way with the article’s material!

Evangelization through social media and other platforms, I find, is often overlooked by many because it appeals to one particular type of audience, rather than attracting non-Christians and other new readers who may have had no initial interest in a certain topic. Instead of maintaining this status quo, we ought to go out into the deep and use the current rules of social media and sensationalism to our advantage in bringing Christ to those who may not know Him or understand Him; they could be set afire with the Holy Spirit with only a single click. This is the means for effective Christian evangelization and how we will attract more attention to our faith and principles rather than remain ignored in our communicative world today.

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