Mother of 2 daughters and grandmother of 7 I strive daily to achieve an optimum level of health and happiness. Life is all about the balance
We Have a Tremendous Power
Posting happy positive messages can help to over ride the negativity of other media posts. It can enlighten and create change and we can each be a part of this change. When it seems that negative messaging has gotten out of control a tiny spark of optimism can ignite a movement to change those negative thoughts.
Kindness matters. I first noticed the kindnessmatters hashtag on Twitter. I admit that I knew little on its origin when I first began tagging it to my Twitter and Facebook posts. I just knew that I wanted to be part of the movement to eliminate the anger, fear, and hurt of the many negative social media posts. There was indeed nothing wrong with my using it in this manner. This is how the tag was intentionally created to be used.
The campaign originated in memory of Peyton A. James a victim of bullying who committed suicide at the age of 13. Although Peyton lost his life to bullying this hashtag is not restricted to this use. It is a campaign created to make a positive change wherever it is needed. Today the kindness matters tag is used to encourage positive posts and to eliminate the hurt of negative messaging. Hashtag it.
Social Media Platforms Have a Message to Share
Social media platforms hold a huge influence over those who visit there. They are an amazing tool for those who want to connect for personal or business purposes. For families and friends separated by distance these networks help to narrow that communication gap. We can connect in an instance to those we want to contact or remain in touch with.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr, and Linkedin are a few of the more popular social platforms. Most people choose their favorites and use them as their need, circumstance, or want dictates. In 2017 about eighty-one percent of persons in the U.S. were using one or more of these platforms.
There is a tremendous benefit to the use of these platforms so that they now are used as an important tool to spread a message. This has been glaringly obvious by their use in the past election campaign. Unfortunately along with the candidates information also came many negative messages as well. It is an aspect of social media that is as old as the platforms themselves - bullying, racist messaging, fear mongering, and hate.
These messages are being quickly driven out to millions of people and affecting attitudes around the world in literally the blink of an eye. It is amazing how infectious a campaign can be proving now more than ever how greatly the words you voice really do matter.
The hashtag #kindnessmatters strives to do just that. It strives to change the hurtful messaging to one of kindness. Anyone can use it. Attach the # pound sign to posts that portray good deeds, happy thoughts, or kindly messages.
Confused on How Tagging Keywords Works?
Hashtagging can make a large difference in the number of views your post will receive. When you # a post you are in essence creating a spotlight on a specific keyword thereby pointing those interested in that subject toward it. It helps people more easily find the posts that they want to read.
Let's face it, there is a lot of information on the internet so narrowing down items to make them easier to locate helps direct you to the posts and articles you most want to discover. Along with the rise in social network use also came a need to narrow down the massive bulk of information being thrown in our direction. A hashtag is the pound sign on your keyboard # and it is used to put focus onto a specific topic.
Many of us Use Social Media for Our Online Posts
Words Have a Powerful Influence on Those Who Hear Them
Fact vs Fiction: Information or Propaganda
There is a lot of misinformation online. Much of this is used for personal or political gain but these campaigns are also created to intentionally spread fear, hate, or hurt to specific individuals. Social media is certainly not immune to this influx of propaganda posting and is in fact a prime feeding ground for this negative behavior.
If you have visited Facebook or Twitter I am sure you have seen some of the scam propaganda that exists there, perhaps you have even shared some of it. This sharing of something people want to be true has become so subversive that it no longer seems to matter whether the information is true or propaganda. It is shared regardless of its authenticity and it is this continual sharing that insures the successful transaction of the lie. Millions of people view and are affected by the campaign.
The spreading of fiction vs fact has become so rampant that these platforms are stepping up to stop the spread of misinformation. On Twitter they have initiated steps to stop troll and bot behavior as these are two main contributors to the streaming of hurtful material. Both Facebook and Twitter are working to remove and cut off the navigation of these harmful campaigns. You can help.
Fact check posts before sharing. Just because you want something to be true does not mean that it is. Share positive informational posts rather than ones based on negativity. Whether the hate is directed on one individual or many its affects are wide reaching. Be responsible. Prejudice hurts and you can help stop its spread. Blanket statements are rarely ever true. The world is comprised of individuals and we each have our own personal morals and merits. Don't fall for the propaganda. Get the facts.
Questions to Ask Before You Share a Post
- Is it factual
- Is it harmful
- Who will be hurt by it
- Does it promote a blanket assumption based on race, religion, age, or sex
- Is this a positive message
- Is this an informative message
- Is it from a reputable source
What Message do Your Words Share?
Create a Positive Change
Avoid negative or questionable feeds in social media and instead take the time to share an optimistic, positive, or humorous post. We can make a difference on social media simply by not sharing items that will cause hurt to others.
It may at first seem difficult to not hit like or share on a questionable post but just as a bad habit is difficult to break so does it get easier to overcome the urge to share propaganda the further we remove ourselves from it. Report spam feeds or post a positive message instead. Hashtag your posts with kind supportive or encouraging keywords. KindnessMatters - hashtag it!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2018 Lorelei Cohen
Are You Part of the Movement
FlourishAnyway from USA on March 09, 2018:
Kindness does matter. It can turn a bad day around. I hadn’t heard of this movement but I like it!
Lorelei Cohen (author) from Canada on March 06, 2018:
I truly hope things turn around soon. The depth of online misinformation has become rampant and it is hurting so very many. It would really be nice to see a little more civil normality again.
Margaret Schindel from Massachusetts on March 06, 2018:
Lorelei, I hope many people will read this article and take its message to heart! Ever since the political campaigns leading up to the most recent U.S. presidential election began, there has been a palpable, distressing and alarming explosion of unkind, disrespectful, hurtful and hateful speech in my country (USA). It has been promulgating 1) a herd mentality and ugly name-calling that has polarized people around the two main political parties and 2) a loss of civility that has divided family members and ended friendships. In such an atmosphere, exchange of different ideas and points of view is nearly impossible any longer. It angers me, frightens me and breaks my heart. Kindness absolutely matters, and embracing and spreading it is the best way to combat this poison. Thank you for this important article.