Using Social Media for Social Good

The following is an excerpt of a post by our very own Christine Koh that appears today in Boston Magazine. You can read the full post here. Over the years, I have used my digital platforms to help make the world a better place. I have rallied my Boston Mamas community to sign digital petitions and participate in click-to-fundraise campaigns. I have used social media to raise thousands of dollars for premature babies and impoverished families in developing countries. I have designed greeting cards — and sold and spread the word about them exclusively online — to benefit ovarian cancer research. And most recently, I’ve been working on the launch of a new project — The Mission List, which aligns cause campaigns with women who want to use their influence in social media for social good.

What I have seen over the years is this: When it comes to causes, people are tired of talking about awareness. They want to do something, and social media offers an incredibly easy and powerful platform to make amazing things happen. And the beautiful thing is that it’s so easy to translate this concept to kids, who — once they get beyond the developmentally appropriate self-centered phase — also have the capacity to empathize with people in need.

So wherever you are on the spectrum of social media usage, I encourage you to think of the web in a different way. In addition to enjoying the web’s utility for communication, retail therapy, and entertainment, start talking to your kids about using social media for good. Engage them in the process, so they can experience how good it feels to help others. It can be as simple as using Facebook or Twitter to spread the word about your child’s philanthropic lemonade stand. Or to raise money for a local charitable walk. Or to share (via blog or other platforms) your favorite donation resources.

The world really can be a better place. And thanks to social media, it’s ever easier for you and your kids to be catalysts for change.