In getting initial responses, it seems like not many people posted their personal essays publicly on social media. Because of this, we don't have many examples of casual responses (likes on Facebook, etc.). We did have a few people get likes on Instagram and Facebook though.
However, we did get a lot of personal interaction responses. Jeremy and Andrew both had similar experiences sharing with their friends. After good responses from their friends, both Jeremy and Andrew plan to talk to their friends further about their personal essays over Christmas break.
Tori, however, didn't have such luck. Tori tried to contact a friend through Facebook, but her friend was unresponsive. Without other contact information, Tori is still awaiting a reply. This is an example of how social media may have not been the most effective sharing method.
Scott sent a personal message to a friend who he had not spoken with for over four years. In the conversation he had with this friend, they reconnected and talked about getting lunch sometime with their childhood crew. Scott was glad that he shared his essay, since this gave him a reason to contact him.
Ryan Parker was able to connect with an old mission companion about a tough experience they both shared. They were able to understand each other better, and this helped them to relate more. However, Ryan's old mission companion asked him to not share the essay publicly on social media since it was so personal. Some essays may not be suitable for public exposure online.
Elijah had a good experience talking on the phone with a friend about his personal essay. Elijah noted that it was natural and personal to reconnect over the phone. These personal essays can be a good way to start conversations and renew old friendships.
Ryan W shared an essay by Viridiana with a member from Argentina who said he would share the essay with at least 5 people he knows well. This shows the great missionary opportunity that can come from such personal, natural essays that share our beliefs.