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