Home Institution

Macalester College

Publication Date

Fall 2022

Program Name

Nepal: Tibetan and Himalayan Peoples


When I first heard about His Eminence the 8th Chokyong Palga Rinpoche, I didn’t expect to find an Instagram page consisting of gym pics and sunglass selfies. As I kept scrolling through Instagram, I soon found out that Palga Rinpoche is not alone in this influencer-like social media façade; he is a part of a younger generation of Buddhist monastics who are trying to be what some call monkfluencers. These monastics are growing up in the digital world of social media, making it more accessible to share with the outside world the #monklife. My goal is to investigate the relationship between Buddhism and social media and why some members of this religious life decided to pursue a social media persona, specifically on Instagram. By using prior academic research and the perceptions I gathered from monastic and non-monastic Buddhists, I will determine whether the digital world has space for these monkfluencers.


Asian Studies | Buddhist Studies | Civic and Community Engagement | International and Intercultural Communication | Social Influence and Political Communication | Social Media


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