Social media: the ever-developing medium that we love and hate simultaneously. Where else can you reconnect with friends from long ago, take a quiz about how long you could survive a zombie apocalypse, tweet your opinion about current events, or pin hundreds of images in one day. This medium has become an inherent part of our lives. For all its good, we know there are challenges in equal part.
Two years ago, I only used Facebook. As a writer, I needed social media to build platform, but knew nothing about it. What ended up emerging from this reluctant dive into the world of social media undoubtedly changed the course of my life.
Social media, I realized, could be a powerful advocacy tool. Since that time, I have worked to support many justice organizations, and joined the efforts of other justice-seekers that I now consider dear friends. Without social media, those connections would have never been made.
Our online voices can gather deeper layers of meaning by speaking justice and offering encouragement.
Using Social Media to Make a Difference:
Twitter is a social media outlet that allows non-profits, churches, and individuals invested in causes to connect with others and share information.
1. Follow the organizations you support for real time updates. Retweet their posts. Their message grows exponentially and you offer support to their cause
2. Join chat parties and connect with like-minded advocates. These world-changers offer a #servechat once a month.
3. Directly tweet your congressional representatives or your Members of Parliament.
4. Use hashtags to bring your message to thousands of others united in a shared cause. For example, supporters of immigration reform are using #Pray4Reform, #Ready4Reform.
Facebook updates reach out to people that are connected to you in some way, and are more likely to listen to what you care about and are invested in.
1. Visual images resonate with people. Share a pinnable image, a photograph, or a quote to get others thinking about justice issues.
2. Share a link to a relevant article.
3. Share briefly what is on your heart about a certain cause or issue. Connections can be made by like-minded advocates that will in turn create community and allow you to join forces.
4. Follow organizations by liking and commenting; support, encourage, and stretch their message to others.
Pinterest is a way to gather and bookmark all your favorite resources in one space.
1. Create a Justice Board: Gather article, images, and quotes for your reference and to share with others.
2. Share! Share Pinterest images on Twitter, Facebook and email with the click of a button.
3. Connect by following organizations you support and by finding other pinners who support their work as well.
4. Images are powerful. Use them for your own devotional and prayer time to ignite something new in your heart concerning justice issues.
Your voice united with others is powerful.
The movie Girl Rising was released in spring 2013 through grassroots efforts. Cities were able to request that this film about prioritizing global education for girls be shown in their area. The astounding reach and response of this film happened because of social media engagement.
Through a Twitter Thunderclap, One Billion Rising for Justice reached 13,610,248 people.
You can raise awareness for events like World Water Day. Most organizations provide resources like images, sample tweets, and useful links in on-line toolboxes, to make sharing easy.
Global Team of 200 is a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger, and maternal health. The majority of their work takes place over social media.
The options are endless and ever-changing. Start small and keep adding where you can contribute. When your online voice is combined with others, momentum builds and can create transformative change. Social media is a simple but powerful way to make a difference and actively live out your faith.