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Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Power of Positive Social Media #StartsWithUs

All the negative things about social media is what usually hits the airwaves and the mediasphere.  It's true that people can use Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and the like in inappropriate ways.  But the same could be said of cars, or other forms of technology.  We cannot respond to new media merely with fear.   If we want to show young people the power of our 21st century world, we have to show them positive models and how to become responsible leaders for change.

Next week is Kentucky Safe Schools Week.  While Shelby and other counties are out for fall break during this time, perhaps we can embrace the spirit of this year's theme to stand up against cyberbullying when we return.  Better yet, we can be inspired by something started at one St. Louis school and is quickly becoming a trending topic on Twitter and an Internet meme.

As often is the truth about human kindness, the act is simple yet profound.  A student or staff member uses a sharpie to write a short positive message on a clothespin.  The person then gives it to someone, who must "post and pass" it on: post a picture of the clothespin using social media with the hashtag #StartsWithUs before giving it to another person so the cycle can repeat.  That's it.  And yet, that's everything.

Here are some Tweets that capture the idea:

The idea has even spread to the St. Louis Rams:

How can we be leaders against negativity and cyberbullying?  How can we fight the dark with light?

Spread positivity online and off, speak out against cyberbullying. #StartsWithUs

You have to start somewhere.  One positive pinned message at a time.

(Note: if you are reading this on email or a mobile device, you may not be able to see the several embedded pictures above.  Please visit the site to see them.)

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