“YES WE CAN”…an inspirational slogan from the 2008 Obama campaign that inspired millions and put Obama into the presidential office. The Millennial generation (those born 1980–2000) is defined by a few key elements, one of which is the individual drive to make a difference in this world. The Millennials don’t care about being president or becoming a millionaire and single-handedly changing the world, they just want to do something that makes a difference in this world (and it’s happening). So, this is my appeal to the Millennials and anyone else out there who wants to make a difference.
The rise of the internet in our generation has become one of the most powerful influencing tools in history. There are so many examples of people who have unintentionally impacted the world through things they’ve put up on websites, blogs and videos. Just think what we can do if we intentionally use the free media outlet at our fingertips. There’s so many ways to make your voice heard, but I want to focus on social networking.
Facebook is somewhat restrictive as far as how many people are exposed to what you post. However, Twitter and Google+ are, by default, viewable by the entire world. We hear about those who post their every move from when they’re taking a shower to what condiment they decided to use on their sandwich for lunch. I think that kind of use of social networking is frivolous and a poor use of one’s time. Most of us aren’t that bad, but I think it’s fair to say that we can all admit to some extent of frivolous posting.
This is a call to become more intentional with the way we use social networking. More intentional to make a difference in this world. Here’s the standards I’ve set for myself and some ideas that you can implement.
- Make people pause. I want to post things that will cause people to stop, question, reevaluate, reflect, learn, etc. Challenging the status quo and, if relevent, trying to inspire action. This includes quotes, videos and links to articles and organizations.
- Sharing your life. One of the greatest things about social networking is that it has added an element to relationships that no other generation has had. There’s a balance between posting about taking a shower and letting people know I got the job I’ve wanted. I try to post things about myself that define my life story. A good indicator is asking yourself what your mom would want to hear about your week if you called her?
- Intentional interaction. Social networking is an aspect of modern relationships and like any relationship it requires interactions on both sides. I want to interact, though, in an intentional way that encourages, challenges and supports. The ideal intentional relationship doesn’t just stop online, it should be followed up with a phone call or getting together.