The following article is a synopsis of an episode from our Life Chat Podcast series. To listen to the full episode, click here.
Instagram Influencers: a new way that our generation can bring light and love into the lives of those struggling with their pro-life or pro-choice beliefs. Cecilia Pappas and Megan Wells are two young ladies who spend a large part of their life comforting, encouraging, and answering the questions of a mostly young female demographic on social media.
Both women agreed that, growing up, they didn’t have many friends who had common beliefs with them regarding the pro-life issue. They lament that at times it seemed as though it would be so much easier to just go along with the pro-choice views and decisions of their friends, but they knew in their hearts that they needed to be pro-life. “Through public school and stuff like that, I never found someone who really agreed with me, a group that really agreed with me,” Cecilia remembers. So, as a young adult, she decided to start a platform of her own.
She said she had thoughts about this for a while and finally decided, “Let me be the person I never had to add confidence to my beliefs.” She wanted to be the person young women could go to with their questions, doubts, concerns and fears, and this desire stemmed from not having that when she was in high school and college. Cecilia explains that she started up her Instagram account as a fashion page, but soon became inspired to spread pro-life and faith-based messages. She lost a few hundred followers by doing that, Cecilia recalls, but quickly gained followers, and also gained purpose in her account.
Megan explains that she probably answers more questions than Cecelia does when it comes to pro-life issues; she loves engaging in conversation. “Pro-life butters… that’s a lot of what we get. I think it’s just a lack of confidence and a lack of support. The media portrays it as we are very alone in our stance.” This is an interesting perspective. “Pro-life butters” refers to people who believe in pro-life values, except in some cases. Megan believes that there are so many people who are not sure of their stance, and being a social media influencer, having those conversations with these people on the fence, can be very important in the long run.
She says there is also another group of people: those who engage in conversation, are clearly opposed to pro-life values, but then end the conversation by saying, “How can you be so ignorant?” Megan explains how she is glad to still engage in discussion with these people because even if the conversation ends like this, she still planted the seed in their heads, and all we can do is hope that they heard some of the conversation. “Something in them was struck by what I’ve said… they’ve either been hurt in the past or they are hurting,” she explains about some of the people who don’t even have arguments, they just get angry. Megan believes that by talking to them, maybe their heart will be healed just a little bit.
Another thing that both women believe really helps their cause is that they obviously have lives outside the pro-life movement. Both women agree that showing their demographic that they are just regular women living their lives, with their own unique hobbies makes their demographic more likely to relate to them. “People know that we’re human, and that this isn’t the one and only thing in our lives,” they explain, and this helps their audience to relate to them better. Cecilia goes on to say, “Having fashion as that outward look has helped me tremendously… when you find something, a friendship develops when you have more than one thing in common. “Another aspect that helps is that both women are exactly the demographic that abortion industries are targeting. “I’m 22 and I can relate to where they are coming from… we are the demographic too,” they explain.
However, it isn’t always practical to engage in conversations with people over social media, the women explain. They say that social media definitely, “Gives people this outlet to just exert all their frustration with pro-lifers on you,” and there are definitely some people on social media that don’t have good intentions. “I think you have to see it as just some people are just gonna be trolls… just to make people mad or suck confidence out of people.” Megan explains. She says that all we can do in this situation is pray for these people; it will help no one to engage in conversation.
The impact that social media influencers like Cecilia Pappas and Megan Wells have on the pro-life generation, and especially the demographic of young people cannot be underestimated. They are meeting these people where they are at, and potentially being a voice of beauty and truth in a media world that is often drowned out by the voice of the other side.