Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Put it to good use.. [Blog Action Day, 2008]

Social-media...are we doing it right?

I used to read about a homeless blogger (I can't find his blog anymore, which worries me, actually), and how the perception of homeless people was usually way off target. When I taught in Philadelphia School District, travelling between 9 different schools, scattered throughout my favorite city, I saw my share of homeless people.

We're all taught to never talk to strangers, but some of these people became non-strangers to me, as I saw them weekly, sometimes daily. Sometimes, all it took was a, "How are you today?" to put a smile on their face. Sometimes, it took me donating a few hours in a soup kitchen with the Boy Scouts to know that I was helping.

We've gone from a time when homeless used to mean "lazy", "addicted", or "criminal", to a time when homeless simply means, "can't afford a place to live". I've always had a roof over my head, whether it be my parents' house, a college dorm, or an apartment. The closest I've ever been to homeless, was during a wilderness survival outing for a merit badge (ask me how comfy my bed of ferns was!).

I have to wonder, if all this social-media could be doing something greater than sharing what I had for breakfast today. How about a tweet like this: "Just helped a man eat for the first time in a week." What if Twitter, blogging, BrightKite was actually being used to fight poverty? What if every Tweet I received meant a penny, or maybe a dollar, towards a charity for the poor? If you can Twitter, or blog, you have more "wealth" than someone who can't. Trickle-down economics, right?

I'm not finished with this thought...or the actions that may come from it...
photo credit: davco9200


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Nice post. :) I definitely agree - we could be doing a lot more with social media than just play by play of our lives. We could be creating real change and taking aim at the world's issues one by one. Blog Action Day is a start!