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Social media has taken a lot of hits over the years, with many people considering it a waste of time. When you think of social media, you often immediately think of services such as Facebook and Twitter. While these do make up the majority of social media use, they don’t cover everything. And while they do have many benefits, they’re rarely used to help move the world to a better place. If you own or find yourself part of a non-profit and/or civil rights movement, check out how you can use social media for good.

Sharing Inspiring Content

Image via Flickr by SoniaT 360

As a consumer, finding uplifting content often serves as the most pleasant experience when using social media. That, and sharing said content. A great story or new information can make a person’s day. Take the Lean In movement, for example, which came from the book of the same title by Sheryl Sandberg. The movement encourages women to follow their ambitions, and has gained popularity via Pinterest. Lean In’s Pinterest account has a board for women’s favorite inspirational quotes. Lean In also recently partnered with Getty Images creating images that portray women in an empowering way.


Some sites, such as Upworthy, produce and display content meant to inspire and encourage people, while shedding light on more positive aspects of life, as well as issues that don’t get discussed often enough. They present these videos and information in ways that promote sharing through social media.

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Reinforce Positive Behaviors

When new movements come about that give people the opportunity to behave in a positive way that can create change, you can’t find a better way to spread the word than through social media. One movement, Giving Tuesday, exists to encourage Americans to give what they can and take part in charity on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

Giving Tuesday cleverly implemented the idea into social media by asking participants to share what they call an “unselfie.” This genius play on the infamous selfie has the participant take a picture of the cause they want to support and not of themselves. This worked well because it accessed an already existing popular social media behavior, and put an interesting and positive twist on it. This strategy is sure to create curiosity while simultaneously inspiring others.


Capitalize on Creativity

Social media has given lots of people new ways to express their creativity. Some organizations have realized that they can capitalize on this by creating a bit of creative competition among their followers. For example, (Red), the organization dedicated to eradicating AIDS, asked its followers to try to set a record for most Vines sent out toward a single cause. The vines just had to show something red to raise awareness for the cause.

Some of the most afflicted countries in the world took this idea to heart and came up with all kinds of creative ways to make vines that really portrayed the message. Some images include showing several hands holding a red ribbon together, or red candies used to spell out the (Red) logo.

Or take Justine Tunney, the founder of the Occupy movement’s Twitter account. As the movement recently settled down, she decided to reassume control over the account to spice things up again.

As a transgender, she’s faced struggles with people trying to silence her during the movement. Since she’s reassumed control, she’s called out those holding back the movement, while reigniting the flame and getting people interested in the cause once more. Her reignition has created responses all over the globe. It’s phenomenal how all of that can be accomplished simply from a single Blackberry phone.

Giving a Voice to the Unheard

One of the greatest results of social media, and one that doesn’t always get discussed, is how many people now have a voice. Social media has allowed for people with similar ideals to find each other and exchange ideas. Now, anybody with access to the internet can find a way to empower their voice.

This has led to public recognition of previously unknown issues. One of the most interesting cases of this happening involves prosopagnosia, or “face-blindness.” Most people, including psychologists and doctors, knew nothing of this phenomenon until the internet allowed people with the issue to find each other. Once the movement grew online, doctors began to give the issue more attention. Bringing awareness of this disorder to the public allowed medical professionals to put time and money into developing ways to help.

Regardless of the cause, social media offers one of the best ways to help creat social change for the better. Don’t let yourself get bogged down by all the nonsense out there. You empower anything you give your attention to. Help participate in cutting through the weeds and focusing on positive movements.

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Miles Young

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  • Ineedtoexpressthispleasehelp

    First, I am NOT suicidal. (nor homicidal….how could anyone in throws of depression have energy to move or one thought that they (we) alone are not the one who is flawed in a way no one could or will ever love, like, wish could be erased? We know we are. We just know it more certainly because we see the pain we cause all around us…..I’m so sorry. so sorry all the time i cant stop fing up your life, fix your broken heart for me because some (few) but some (my dad certainly, not sure who else) is broken by this disease i first felt at 4 years old….standing in my kitchen by a wicker chair….and began crying to mask the fear and confusion of a feeling so intense and so inexplicable to myself nuch less my mother who asked (in that offended tone) what was wrong all the sudden…i lied quickly to cover up my 4 year old tears that were not even noticable to her (thank God, I thought) that kids dont cry this way….I’ve cried plenty by 4, and witnessed other kids cry (in nursts, in whiney demands)…this was scary…tears drizzled out softly, geelings of what i thought was guilt ripped through me……guilt like ive not felt before, but i knew it was guilt….and i knew then everything people told me was true…the very thing i didnt want to be true …. but was supposed to accept as a compliment and be proud…..the truth was solidified as i hid my tears and quickly lied to my mother about the cause – I WAS SUCH A LITTLE ADULT. BEING WITH ME WAS JUST LIKE BEING WITH A GROWN UP….I WAS NEVER CHILDLIKE AND HAD SUCH WISDOM, EMPATHY…I WAS LIKE A “FRIEND” ADULTS WOULD SAY. MUCH MORE THAN AN OLD SOUL….I was cathartic to have around, and would listen and seemed to understand what adults could not. I never was immature, or interested in dolls, games, playing actually. I may habe liked recess a few times but I spent a lot of time in D hall -(ADD doesnt mix well with feeling very much adult — and living very much like “THE” adult most of the time) I acted entitled i suppose….I didnt need or ask for things I could do myself….why would I be punished for such rediculous behaviors like sharpening my pencil, using the bathroom, blowing my nose, or getting a sip of water? I knew my teacher could see me at all times (a key to keep regular adults not worried) but she was intent on embarassing me for being the independent little girl that others wouldn’t be for many years. Since adults were my equals, I presented logical explanations each time I was sentenced to Dhall….(another no no—-not talking back. again, something that was helpful to my basket case of a mother, father, etc in the midddle of their divorce that I got them through.) Yes, I had an older brother. No, I was never taken to a a counselor nor psych, but my pain was evident in ways they would not notice….I withdrew socially, I experienced NO ….i mean ZERO joy. I frequently hyperventelated in preschool, and thought I was suffocating…..but i had to trust the paper bag she handed me and laughed it off and I sat on the pink steps many days sucking a paper bag to regain my breath. I never knew what was wrong, and I just remembered that I really wanted her to sit near me —for reassurance, but I didn;t dare need her…..i plowed through my fear, a little baby girl, while kids stared at me and their mothers certainly stared at my mother. This this is one of the things I will never EVER forgive or let go. SHE KNEW what that was. SHE KNEW that her baby girl was terrified, needed comfort or an explanation, and she offered neither. She let me handle it. Her baby girl suffer and paralyzed with fear….it didn’t phase her I suppose. She knew what was happeneing though. Do you know when I found out? When I was 21 years old — on a spring break trip in college and witnessed a friend have something called an “anxiety attack”…..I thought it was a joke until she pulled out a paper bag and then took medication, called he therapist and saw her end up in tears from embarrassment, fear, etc. I hugged her so hard and told her “dont you ever be embarrassed by that! EVER! We are your friends and it is our job to soothe you, help you , be here no matter what it takes Andrea! We love you and seeing you terrified was horrible because I didnt know what to do. I said one day i may need her to yell in my face when i was in labor one day but i knew shed do that for me…we get each other through life….thats what love does. And, I wouldn’t tolerate embarrassed because I need to not be embarrassed when she saw me at my worst. We made a deal and that was that. I tried all I could to supress, find differences , etc….but I knew so very deeply that I just learned at the age of 21, exactly what I suffered from in preschool through nearly 5th grade. No meds, no tears, no comforting mom but the terror, the immediate onset….all of it. Beginning with the announcement of my parents divorce, I began ecperiencing these things called “panic attacks” that Andrea insisted meds, therapists, and more were needed to get through when they struck. I KNEW BY SEEING HER FEAR, BY ALL OF IT HOW SERIOUS THIS SHIT WAS. So I stopped talking for the rest of the trip, rolled over in the Tahoe we treaveled in and tried to hide my shaking hands, which was the only reaction I could muster in the presence of such anger. I asked one question of Andrea…..how long had she known about this, her first attack, and fished desperately to clear the knowledge from my head that my mother indeed DID know what this was (hell, we lived at the pediatricians office), never once got me help, told my father, comforted me, told me what was wrong or even gave me the meds i needed to get through FUCKING life as a traumatised child. By the way, the reason Andrea and I were on a trip to the beach was because it was my 21st bday. Thanks Mom. My Spring Break was fake fun (for my friends) and internal hell all at once, but I never wanted to speak to her again. She was a monster. (more in a moment)

  • Ineedtoexpressthispleasehelp

    please just tell me who to give my quotes, pics, etc to or how to do something that will make them take notice. i am well now, but the dark ugly sick part of me will always be my sick sick festering wound in a soul that no longer wants to keep it to herself. ps- it is also not up for discussion with anyone in my family. they never would attend therapy nor discuss my illness with me, so same goes for them……im just handing it over….if it doesn’t resonate, that’s fine with me. but i have collected bits and pieces of my soul for years….i want to give it it’s due.