“Let’s put the social back in Social Media and the responsibility back where it belongs–with us.”
I follow many passionate, opinionated friends on Facebook. My newsfeed is constantly flooded with posts about saving animals, banning pesticides, stopping fracking, etc. which are all issues I feel strongly about. I used to share similar posts. Bringing a cause to the attention of the public is, after all, the responsible thing to do right? But after about a year of sharing everything from labeling GMOs to helping out the bees, I began to question what I was accomplishing. Sure friends would read and share my posts. But for the most part they were people who were already posting about the same issues. And when I scrolled through post after post complaining about this, lamenting that, it really started to read, “Whine, whine, whine.” We were all just posting and liking each others posts criticizing the status quo. But what were we actually accomplishing? Posting about issues and creating awareness may make you feel good, but if you do nothing else, it can solve very little.
So I instituted a rule for myself that basically said if I wasn’t going to actually do something concrete about a particular problem, I wasn’t allowed to post or complain about it. Meaning if I didn’t, at the very minimum, write my senator or congressional representative, I didn’t have the right to post or share a post complaining about an issue. The results have been two-fold. I post my grievances much less often and I feel better about life in general. Who wants to read all that depressing stuff anyway? If you are like me, you want to know how your friends are doing and what they are up to. You don’t want see another depressing video about factory raised beef. We already know it’s awful. The second result was I wrote my representatives more. At the very least someone that can enact legislature will know how I feel on a particular topic. If enough constituents write, perhaps something will actually happen. The process of notifying your representative is quick and painless and takes only seconds more than posting on your favorite social media site. Plus it’s what we pay them for. Let’s make them work for us.
So I am asking my friends and readers to take the Before You Post Challenge.
- Vow to take a moment before you post, share or even like (if you are hardcore like that) someone’s cause on Facebook or Twitter to actually do a bit more. Write your representative, make a donation, or create and sign a petition. Change your M.O. from being just a complainer to becoming a doer.
- Share this post and tag 5 friends to take the challenge with you. Let’s try to make some real change happen instead of always preaching to the choir. This is about social responsibility. Let’s put the social back in Social Media and the responsibility back where it belongs–with us.
- Hashtag it baby. #BeforeYouPost.
If you have never written your representative before or don’t know who they are, you can get that information by following the links below:
If you would like to create or sign a petition: