On Saturday, I read a great post "Social Media for Social Good" by Helen Nowicka. The timing of Nowicka's post was perfect, especially since for the past week celebrities, activists and others have used social networks to express outrage and their dissatisfaction with how the Trayvon Martin case is being handled by Florida police. Social Media also played an important role in bringing awareness to the execution of Troy Davis, as well as tragedies of Hurricane Katrina, Tsunami and other natural disasters. Organizations such as Planned Parenthood used Social Media to bring awareness to Susan G. Komen's decision to pull funding from their organization; which ultimately led to the reversal of the decision. At least 5 officials resigned from Susan G. Komen following the controversy.
These are just a few examples in which Social Media may be used to draw attention to a specific topic or issue. Whenever I teach about Social Media, I tend to share how social media has allowed the "narcissistic" side of us shine through. That is not necessarily a negative thing; however, as users of Social Media, we're inclined to share everything about "me." Things like our location, photos, accomplishments, dating status, our mood at the moment, our likes, dislikes and so forth. That's all well and good, but there should come a time when Social Media is used to encourage, positively impact and support the work of others. A single tweet or post on social networks has the potential to reach millions. So why not use it as an opportunity to make a difference.
Social media is an effective resource to share a message, engage others in conversation and connect with people throughout the world. Everyone has the potential to have an impact on the world and make a difference. Are you passionate about a cause or group? Take advantage of Social Media's reach potential and state your cause. Here are some suggestions:
Donate at least 1 tweet a day or Facebook post to your favorite cause.
Share a link to a foundation or organization that is making a difference.
Connect with individuals and organizations who are making a difference worldwide.
Volunteer with organizations such as iMentor, a mentoring model that uses technology-enabled mentoring.
There are several Social Media for Social Good websites that were created to enable people to support causes they're passionate about. If you're currently using Social Media to make a difference and support a cause, we'd love to hear about it.
Use Social Media Media to Make a Difference.