The Positive Power of Social Media
Many talk about the negative side of social media but when digital connections turn into human connections for a greater good, we see the positive potential of social media unleashed.
For instance, a few weeks ago Colin Kaepernick announced on Twitter that he was donating $10,000 to a charity and Kevin Durant was going to match it. In the comments section of the post, a man named Anthony Tucker asked for them to support his Pre-K school in the South Bronx of New York because they badly needed an after school program but couldn't fund it.
When I noticed that no one responded to him, I felt a nudge to support him. I asked him to email me how much they needed and his response was that $21,000 would fund it for a year. Even though I didn’t know him, I knew I was supposed to help him so I told him I’d donate half of it and would help him raise the other half.
I then posted on Twitter sharing what had happened, that I didn’t know Anthony but felt God nudge me to help and that when you do crazy things like this… miracles happen. I then asked if anyone wanted to fund the other half. A few hours later Anthony Barr, who plays for the Minnesota Vikings, said he would fund the other half. I couldn’t believe it and thanked him for being a God send.
About an hour later I heard from Josh McCown, the QB for the NY Jets, who said he wanted to help as well. I told him that Anthony Barr already agreed to help but perhaps Josh would want to fund the first half of year two. Josh agreed and I let Anthony Tucker know we now had the after school program funded for a year a half!
It was so much fun to see people on twitter follow and comment on what was happening in real time and rally around this incredible social media experience.
I spoke to Anthony Tucker the other day and found out he just self-published a children's book, only because his students encouraged him to and he wanted them to know that anything was possible. I found out that Anthony grew up in a rough neighborhood and many of his friends didn't make it out alive. But he did and he became a teacher to make sure that every child in his school would have a positive future like him.
In all of this I saw the power of social media making a positive impact for the kids and blessing a young man who devoted his life to giving children a better future. On one special day his past challenges, his current mission, Twitter and the generosity of people like Anthony Barr and Josh McNown came together to fund a Pre-K after school program in the South Bronx… a program that could alter the future for many of these kids for years to come.
To me, that’s inspiring. That’s what it’s all about.
Like most things, social media's power comes from how we choose to use it.
Only two questions remain...
1. Who wants to fund the other half of year 2? : )
2. What else can we accomplish with the positive power of social media?