How To Be The Change Online
The line between our in real life and online worlds is not clear — at all — and our presence on social media is ever reflective of who we really are and what we really value. This means that posting purposefully is a very real way to be a do gooder. On VProud, there is an incredible video and conversation created by Mamalode Magazine CEO Elke Govertson expressing the importance and value in only sharing what matters, in using our share currency to be the change online. And below, mother and writer Morgan Armstad, a writing intern for both Mamalode and VProud, reflects on this decision on whether or not to use social media for good that we all make every single day. We are so very inspired by this cross-age conversation and commitment to only share what matters online and think that you will to.
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Sharing Is Caring, So Use Social Media For Good. Always.
By Morgan Amstad for VProud
We live in a world where nearly 43 percent of kids say they have been the victims of cyberbullying, where meanness is all but expected online. Some people use social media and the Internet to share positivity and messages that matter, but so many others more frequently share negativity. Technology has permeated into most parts of our daily lives, and it’s hard to not be affected by all the Debbie downers who seem to be taking over. For myself, I decided it was time to make some changes.
I recently started un-following anyone on my social media feeds who regularly post negative, unkind or ridiculously narrow-minded political messages. Ever since, my enjoyment for the experience of being online has heightened greatly. I don’t quite have the heart to end our online friendships entirely, in truth some of the people I’ve un-followed are members of my family or my closest friends. It isn’t that I don’t love them dearly, or respect their right to an opinion. It’s more that I decided life is just too short to be faced with unending rants and angry comments on a regular basis.
What can those of us who wish to see more positivity in the online world do? The best way to not feed the fire is by not involving yourself in the drama. Meaning, don’t go adding your ideas to the already stirred pot. Even if your point is completely valid, someone somewhere will find a reason to give a response that you may not like. The vicious cycle continues.
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The best way to combat the prevalence of the negative is to suffocate it with positive. If people see you being more positive online, they may just do the same.
Share things that you believe are worth others seeing, messages that inspire hope or kindness in our friends and followers. Spoken so eloquently in the video, in the online world, sharing is the currency. We invest in the messages we think are valuable by sharing them ourselves, and then asking others to share them too. It’s the way to pay it forward in the digital age.
Think of all the people you are connected to on social media. If one of them shares something wonderful and worthy of being enjoyed by many, it’s still likely that only a small portion of your other connections will see the post. That is, those people who may also be in some way connected with them.
Without sharing the message yourself, whether it be an article, a positive meme, a great cause or a heartwarming video, there are so many missed opportunities to share with a wider range of people the positivity that may be brightening your day. You can like the post, or even comment on it, but the likelihood of others seeing it and enjoying it as well is much less without the share. We can spread positivity online by making it more accessible to more people whenever we find it. It’s easy to show others we care with the right share.
It really does depend on us as individuals, to take back the Internet and only #sharewhatmatters. It’s up to us to decide what is considered valuable online. To all the rest, the anger and deliberate unkindness – let us say, “no more.”