After national tragedies or community disasters, I’m always amazed at the power of digital communication and seeing how social media amplifies social good. After the Boston Marathon bombing, Mark Drapuea reminded us that “social media scales human nature.” After the earthquakes in Japan, Amy Jo Martin realized that “social media can allow us to accelerate the act of kindness.”
Here’s the thing: This scaling and accelerating doesn’t — shouldn’t — only happen in the wake of a tragedy. In the last 12 hours, I’ve already come across three posts that illustrate this:
- Amy Taylor wrote an open letter to the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, who “allegedly commented on everything from why he hates fat chicks to why he doesn’t want “not-so-cool” kids shopping in his stores.” Not only did people share and reshare (a lot!) the post, but they directly reached out to Amy, thanking her for being so open and for courageously saying what so many other people were thinking. As Amy noted on Twitter, the reaction to her post is inspiring. (And, if you haven’t read her post, stop reading this and go read it.)
- Nikki Little shares an incredible tale of 5.5 weeks in the hospital, trying to stay pregnant as long as possible so her twins could grow and be born healthy. She courageously reminds us that “Being brave and courageous is hard. Sometimes it downright sucks because you know you have to do it, yet some days it seems impossible. But, you push forward, find coping mechanisms and you get through it.” (Want to share your own #CourageStory? Head over to her blog and leave a comment, or use the hashtag on Twitter.)
- Last night on Twitter, BuzzFeed’s John Stanton — over the course of dozens of tweets — shared the story of a junkie in Washington DC and the community of people who came together to help him. As he said, “we could all learn a lot about compassion and love and understand from the very least amongst us, if we only take the time to see it.” You can read about the acts of compassion on Storify.
There are lots of reasons to love the Internet. (Heck, in my world, Twitter is such a critical part of our business that I’m only half-joking when I say Twitter keeps our lights on.) But, there are enough self-serving posts, annoying videos and food pics that can create a love-hate relationship with the web. Look past all that though, and you’ll find amazing people sharing incredibly personal stories. Stories that will restore your faith in humanity and inspire you to join the scaling good movement.
On that note, Happy Thursday!