The non-stop news cycle and constant connection to the chaos through social media can leave me feeling emotionally drained and convinced that the internet is the cause for our modern day woes. But effortless communication and being constantly connected can be just as powerful when used for good. After the tragic events of the last few weeks I have a newfound dedication to use the internet mindfully, and to use it as a tool to make a positive impact on the world around me. Here are a few ways we can use the internet to spark good actions and promote positivity in the world around us:
Crowdsourcing: Start a thread for sharing ideas for volunteering, donating, and doing good deeds in your community. Not only will this provide you with a great list of ways to expand your giving, but shining a light on all the good that people do behind the scenes can encourage others to take action and help balance your perspective of the world in the face of all the online negativity. Check out my thread for some awesome ideas and a reminder that there are a lot of good people doing good things out there.
Check In: When you do go volunteer, check in on social media and document the experience. Normalize the act of giving and encourage others to make it part of their lives. Share the emotional impact that the experience has on you and those you are helping. Not sure where to volunteer? Your local food bank is a great place to start. Find a food bank near you here.
Start a Fundraiser: The internet is the best thing that has happened to fundraisers because there has never been a faster, easier way to reach people, and donating is as simple as a click of a button. Start a fundraiser for your birthday, anniversary, class project, or any occasion. Get tips for starting and running an online fundraiser here.
Tell Congress to Take Action: Gone are the days of having to visit your congressman in person or write a longhand letter. The internet provides us a direct line of communication with legislators. Invite Members of Congress to visit their local food bank and take action on hunger in America by using this simple online form.
Share the Big Stories: When people and corporations come together, they can do great things and make a huge impact, but those stories don’t usually make it to the mainstream news. Share these stories and spread the word so positive players can serve as a good example to others. Follow Feeding America’s Hunger Blog and their Real Stories of Hunger and share the big picture of what can happen when people come together.