Most ISKCON members around the world are now in “lockdown” due to the corona virus pandemic, and struggling to maintain regular association with other devotees. However, due to modern technology, there are various daily live virtual classes, discussions, japa circles that devotees can take advantage of.
A series of video blogs, or “vlogs,” featuring ISKCON guru Sivarama Swami giving a Krishna conscious perspective on current issues, have racked up over 20 million views on Facebook. Devotees behind the project see it as a way forward for outreach in the Hare Krishna Movement.
A few years back a brand expert was asked about ISKCON UK’s presence on social media. His response was simple and to the point: ‘the good news is that you are not scary anymore, you are just confusing’. Though temples and devotees do have a solid presence on social media, the big question remains, how effective is that presence?
Check out the Facebook page of two Vaishnavi girls, who have just started a facebook page so people can more easily direct message to them with questions about the philosophy. They will post other videos and articles that relate to Krishna consciousness, which those developing an interest in the philosophy will hopefully find interesting! : https://www.facebook.com/ThoseHareKrishnas/
“We have seen several successful social media campaigns such as Digital India and the Paris solidarity movement after the bombings when people overlaid their profile pictures with a flag,” explained Toshan Nimai Das. “Similarly, we have designed an overlay using the ISKCON 50 logo, which devotees around the world can use on top of their existing profile pictures. This way, we can build more awareness about ISKCON 50 through social media.”
We live in an overcommunicated world. The prevailing culture insists we reply to all text messages within 10 minutes, be mindful of the mountain of emails building up in our inbox, and religiously return random ‘missed calls’ on our phones.
Connection with God is not just a matter of getting updated about events – it is essentially about getting upgraded in our consciousness.
“Prasadarians” is a prime example of just how powerful Facebook can be when used in the right way. Started by Mexican devotee Mahattama Dasi in 2012 when she was in remission from cancer and looking for a service she could do from home, it immediately exploded into a hugely popular group of 7,000 members, all sharing beautiful photos of food offerings (prasadam) to their Deities, along with recipes and stories.
Facebook isn’t like marmite – I hate it and love it. I can’t stand it, but I can’t get off it. How many of you feel the same? It’s the first thing I check in the morning and the last thing I check at night. It seems to be devouring my entire life.
What is the connection between social networks and being lonely? Quoting the words of Sherry Turkle from her TED talk - Connected, But Alone.
We live in an overcommunicated world. Good etiquette insists we reply to all text messages within 10 minutes, be mindful of the mountain of emails building up in our inbox, and unfailingly return all ‘missed calls’ on our phones.
With a Spanish language ISKCON News website launched on January 1st (noticias.iskcon.org), and running successfully, it’s now Russia’s turn. “There is a lot going on in Russian-speaking ISKCON,” she says. “But a system for timely communication between different temples’ Communications Departments is only in the making now," says managing editor Bhaktin Olessia.
Shaktyavesha Avatara Das, a London-based book distributor originally from Moscow, has devised a new way of following up with people he gives ISKCON Founder Srila Prabhupada’s books to on the street. His project, “Fortunate People,” uses modern technology and social networking through Facebook, one of the most popular websites in the world with over 1 billion users.