Friday, March 9, 2012

Socially Aware

So unless you live in a cave or your Internet was knocked out due to the recent solar flares, you know who Joseph Kony is. While I am going to try my very best to keep my political opinions to myself, I do feel that the KONY12 video accomplished its goal: to raise awareness to the plight of the children in Africa who are suffering atrocities at the hands of Joseph Kony and his army.

We are subjected to and being influenced by social media at an alarming rate. Celebrities and reality show participants have become our go-to source for information. How many folks watch CNN or read the New York Times on a regular basis? How many followers does Kim Kardashian have?

Let's face it. Most people get their news from social media and it is unfathomable to me how many people believe something to be true just because someone else put it out on the Internet. We've all heard someone say, "I saw it on Twitter" or "my friend had this on their Facebook." Just because Ellen or PDiddy or Kayne retweeted it doesn't mean they have all the facts. It just means they (or their publicist) hit the retweet button. George Clooney, Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, Bono, the Baldwin brothers, etc. are politically active. Even Scarlett Johanssen is considered "politically actiive" due to her Democratic campaign work. Most became politically active after they became celebrities. Some celebrities really and truly walk the walk; others strategically attend publicized events to help promote their latest book, their latest movie, their latest product. Unfortunately, celebrities are able to reach a larger audience than most of us normal folk and that can be dangerous.

Check everything out before you retweet or re-post and jump on the bandwagon. Do your homework. Don't forward e-mails in the hopes of winning a free iPad (I mean, seriously! Do you actually know anyone who has ever won that free iPad??). Don't donate to a charity if you are unsure about their accounting practices. Or, if you are uncomfortable or not in the position to make a cash donation, see if you can donate goods or services that will go directly to those in need; not get lost in bureaucratic red tape.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Hi Valerie, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

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