As you may have noticed, I’m thinking a lot about Jimmy Fallon’s success among Millennials this week. Today brings me to another article, this time in The Guardian, and specifically his effectiveness with social media. (Read this week’s posts and older one analyzing Fallon’s success here.)
Reading the Guardian article leaves me wondering if a college ministry could (or should) infiltrate the larger social media preoccupation of its campus – not just proving effective with its own students, but among the “campus tribe” as a whole.
On the other hand, [Jimmy Fallon] is a master at divining what will go viral – a crucial skill in the age of TV recording devices and social media.
Take his recent lampoon of Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor under fire because of those traffic problems over the George Washington bridge. Fallon’s remake of Born To Run, in which he mimics Bruce Springsteen and is then joined on stage by the Boss himself, was not just sublime television, but had the benefit of attracting more than 4 million views on YouTube
His riff on hashtags with Justin Timberlakehas been viewed more than 21m times on YouTube, and his lip sync battle with Stephen Merchant almost 11m times. Both were helped along the way by Fallon’s 11m Twitter followers.
Eric Deggans, TV critic for National Public Radio, says that Fallon’s popularity on social media is not a fluke, as his strain of humour is in tune with the 18-35 demographic that all late-night TV producers are desperate to reach. “He has a comedy that mixes up cultures and musical sounds in a way that feels distinctly millennial,” Deggans says.
I’m not sure whether it’s worth your time to introduce / re-introduce your ministry to the campus in this way. It might also be a strategy simply for integrating into the campus – if this is what tribe members are doing and enjoying, it’s at least worth considering. We might even say we have the chance to bless the campus with humor or thoughtfulness or both.
Again, not sure if this fits or how the paragraphs above get you thinking! But my guess is that you have some students who might just find a “fit” doing this, using their natural talents for ministry purposes in a way they may never have imagined.