As I sat down at the computer “just about” ready to write my final blog for Intro to Social Media, I realised I had too many topics I wanted to cover. This week for example, I came across a hashtag that meant something to me. While a hashtag can be funny or sarcastic this one was an acronym for a serious and unjust subject. Sometimes a hashtag can lead you to more information on a particular subject that really interests you as this one did for me. I wanted whatever audience I have to know about it and care about it. I also noticed a picture posted by a celebrity that made me stop in my tracks. I wanted to write about what it stood for and give it an even bigger platform. Then, I read probably the best blog I have ever read. It just hit me like a ton of bricks and I wanted everyone on my Facebook page to read it. While listening to Spark on CBC on my way home from work, bam, a social media movement that may bridge the gap between the racial and poverty divide in the United States and lastly I really wanted to write about an application I think will change the world for so many people, giving them independence by being virtually dependent. How could I possibly narrow it down? All of the topics are incredibly important to me. Then I realised these necessary bits of information were shared by different social media platforms. Why not write a list of five of my social media number ones? So here they are, my fav hashtag, image, blog post, use of Web 2.0 and app!
My favourite Hashtag:
#mmiw is an acronym for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (and girls). I am not an indigenous woman but I am a woman. First, let’s be clear that the way this country has treated those native or indigenous to it, is absolutely deplorable. Apologies mean nothing when change is not in effect. I recently read about 10 First Nations reserves with more than 10 years of bad water, only receiving media attention this week because of the recent Winnipeg boil water advisory.
49% of murdered Canadian women are indigenous. Aboriginal women make up 4.3% of the total Canadian population and 16% of all accounted Canadian homicides. Why? Highway 16 “The Highway of Tears” is an 800km section of highway 16 between Prince George and Prince Rupert, British Colombia. Records show 18 murders on the highway between 1969 and 2011 but families say over 40 murders have occurred. Because of little police interest and an almost non existent investigation, these murders continue to be unsolved. Some say racism is also the reason the Pickton murders went unsolved for so many years.
#mmiw gives immediate attention to these women. The lack of respect we as a nation have shown those native to this land has always bothered me. This hashtag made me feel like there is the possibility of change. Hopefully with the recent star power of Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq (freak out, she follows me on Twitter!!!), these issues will make the “front pages”. If you Google #mmiw, you will find a boat load of incredibly important information regarding this issue. Also, please consider First Nations Child and Family Caring Society’s, 7 free ways to make a difference.
My favourite image:
We know the tension between Israel and the Palestinian People has resulted in so many lives lost on both sides. I think despite whatever view you have, peace is what we wish for everyone. I have many Jewish and Muslim friends. They are equally peace loving and important. This picture took my breath away.
I mean just read the caption. The best part? I shared it and both my Muslim and Jewish friends ‘liked’ it. It’s the little things that can evoke a break in the heaviness. The power of an image is unlike any other. It really can say a million words. For me, this picture summed up the sadness and waste of war, odd I know. Chelsea Handler has 2.6 million Facebook friends and 5.6 million Twitter followers. Imagine what might happen if we all share this image?
My all time favourite blog post!!!!!!:
Have you heard of Tess Munster? Well if you haven’t, you will! Tess Munster is the largest plus size model to be signed by a mainstream modeling agency. She started her #effyourbeautystandards movement and describes herself as a “body positive activist”. And, she is sooo gorgeous! She is a single mom (go girl!) and is engaged and HAPPY! Imagine that (note the sarcasm)? But I said this was the “my favourite blog section” didn’t I? So here’s the best part. Obviously Tess received a slew of hateful and downright disgusting comments about her incredible success (note my annoyance) but the blog this writer wrote in response was absolutely the best blog I have ever read. You know when someone says “Well, she’s so unhealthy and she’s disgusting, and if she cared about her child she would lose weight, and she can’t be happy if she’s that fat!”? You know….those people, the ones who say those things and you don’t know exactly how to respond? Well look no further, please read WHY PEOPLE HATE TESS MUNSTER (AND OTHER HAPPY FAT PEOPLE) by Jes at The Militant Baker. It’s the perfect read if you need a dose of reality or need valid points when arguing;).
My favourite use of Web 2.0:
Recently while listening to Spark, I learned about an ingenious idea thought up and implemented by Darryl Adams, Superintendent of Schools for Coachella Valley Unified District. He noticed a divide between children who have access to wireless devices and Wi-Fi and those who did not have access to the internet off of school grounds. His belief is that internet requirements for students without access is a civil rights issue. How can students graduate and be able to compete if they do not have access to the internet for homework? The “poorer neighborhoods” would continue to fall behind at a greater rate if access could not be acquired. It’s one thing to give your students laptops but if they don’t have service at home, research becomes difficult or impossible. Solution? School buses. School buses with secure Wi-Fi park outside of low income neighborhoods. The students can log in from their bedrooms and get their homework done! What about battery power for the bus? Solar panels! I mean this podcast will make you grin from ear to ear! One step closer to equality! Information is power! You can listen to Norah Young (Spark host) and Darryl Adams here.
My favourite app:
Last but not least, my pic for this year’s number one app is Be My Eyes. Be My Eyes is an app that connects blind people with volunteers willing to be their eyes from their smart phone! Let’s say for example a visually impaired person is grocery shopping and needs help differentiating one product from another or help reading the ingredients on a particular item, they simply place a request to the app and are connected with a sighted volunteer, like Facetime!!! This can change the world for so many people. It really is the best app I think has been created in forever! Volunteers can earn points and be promoted! As of yet, it is only available on iOS but should be available for Android soon! Be My Eyes is a free app and anyone can volunteer! Just get it! There are currently almost 10,000 visually impaired and 112,000 sighted signed up. Isn’t this a most incredible use of social media?
So there they are folks, my top five number ones! I hope these either opened your eyes or were moments that resonated with you as well. Social media may have its faults but more importantly, it has the power to be beautiful and evoke positive change.
How about you? What were your top social media moments of the past few months? Are there other social media platforms that have exposed you to something interesting or life changing? Would love to hear from you!