Unitarian Universalists are finding inspiration and fun on social media site Tumblr—but how do you find the UUs?
[While the Rev. Heather Christensen, the Interdependent Web’s resident curator, is on maternity leave, the Interdependent Web will feature a variety of guest bloggers, some of whom will highlight Unitarian Universalist use of specific online platforms, such as today’s focus on Tumblr. —Editors]
Tumblr is a weird and wonderful corner of the Internet. It’s a hodge-podge of text posts, photos, videos, and music about everything from social justice and history to art and fandom. (Not to mention the porn, but you can block that.)
There are plenty of Unitarian Universalists on Tumblr—the trick is finding them. Because most people on Tumblr are posting about whatever interests them, you may not realize someone’s a UU until they mention being at SUUSI or spontaneously post a picture of their new chalice tattoo.
Or maybe they’ll get really excited about that time a Unitarian minister appeared in the Wonder Woman comics:
Tumblr can be a great place for UUs to show their pride, be inspired and amused, and feel just a little more connected. So don’t get discouraged if at first it seems you are the only UU out there: trust me, you aren’t.
One way to find UUs on Tumblr is to simply search the site for posts tagged: “unitarian universalist,” “unitarian universalism,” “unitarian,” “yruu,” “uu,” or similar. (Fair warning, searching for “uu” will also get you a lot of random posts that have nothing to do with the religion.) You’ll also get UU results that might be on non-UU blogs, like a concert that was held in a UU space, or a photo of church architecture, but mostly you’ll find UUs.
There are some great institutional blogs to follow. Skinner House Books has a very active Tumblr, posting information about new publications and author events, as well as beautifully presented shareable graphics featuring excerpts from their books. MDD Mailbag, the Mountain Desert District Youth Ministry’s Tumblr, has great photos from youth cons that will take you right back to those joyful, sleep-deprived gatherings. And the Andover-Harvard Theological Library blog—while not exclusively UU—frequently posts items from their archive about Unitarian and Universalist history.
And there’s UU World, of course. We post and reblog all kinds of things!
Some Tumblr users write moving accounts of their first visit to a UU church or returning to the faith after years away.
You can also find words of wisdom from UU ministers and layleaders:
There’s usually a flurry of posts from individuals around the UUA General Assembly or the winter holiday Chalica, which is a good time to find people.
One other way to connect with UUs on Tumblr: let people know you are a UU. Think of it like showing up to a huge parade; if you wear a T-shirt that identifies you as a Unitarian Universalist, usually someone else will get excited and introduce themselves as one, too. So tag your faith-related posts with UU hashtags, write about your religion, follow other UUs, and it never hurts to reblog a chalice now and then!
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Sonja L. Cohen is deputy managing editor of UU World and a lifelong Unitarian Universalist.
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