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September 15, 2015

5 Ways Millennials Can Use Social Media to Change the World.

"Girls on Tour," Gary Knight, Flickr

“To create something you must be something,” said Goethe.

In a recent interview with seventeen magazine, Jennifer Lawrence talked about her personal insecurities and Googling negative things about herself online.

She said, “Inside I’m terrified. In an instant—boom—everyone’s listening, everyone’s looking.”

Even in her fear, Jennifer Lawrence has put herself out there fully and completely as an actor. She’s accepted the risk of exposing herself, reaping the rewards and also enduring the punishment.

In this age of social media, we have an opportunity to establish an era of authenticity.

I’ve exposed everything from my thoughts on gun control to my personal experience with abortion. People agree and disagree. Some feel sorry for me, though that’s never my intention. Others judge me harshly and some send their blessings.

The people who reach out and tell me that they feel supported or they no longer feel alone or that I’ve shared a message that others should hear, are the ones that mean something to me.

If we’re all willing to share honestly and openly, accept the accolades and withstand the gibes, we can help each other to learn and grow.

Here are five ways to show who we really are on social media while, potentially, changing the world:

1. Share the Good and the Bad.

We all have good and bad days—from the most glamorous to the complete fails.

It’s okay for us to share how we look and feel on the bad days too. (Well, maybe not the worst days—these things do last forever!)

When we get that great job we’ve been hoping and working for, lets celebrate it loud and proud and not hold back. We’ve earned it and it’s fun to increase the reward with the praise of friends and even strangers.

On the other hand, when we get fired, or when someone else with a greater skill set or who worked harder than us gets that job, lets share that too.

It’s a great method of self-analysis. We may get pointers and ideas from others and it also helps every other person out there who’s temporarily missed their dream job.

2. Be Open to Changing Our Opinions.

It’s great to have and share opinions, but we don’t need to worry about holding onto them tightly, nor feel we need to apologize when we learn and change them.

Check out other opinions (we can find them everywhere) and be open to them. Do some research. That’s what the internet is for.

Then, we can form better, and perhaps more well versed opinions that we can stand by if we choose or adjust as we see more, learn more and feel more.

We shouldn’t need to apologize for what our opinion is (so long as we’re not hurting someone else with that opinion) or the fact that it may change.

Say what you mean at the time, but don’t feel the need to apologize if you change your mind later. Unless you have a reason to apologize. In which case, apologize. Admitting fault is a big thing to do.

3. Don’t Bash, Explain.

When we see something we like or don’t like, let’s repost it—and not just stop there, explain why.

If we’re not fans of Miley’s garb or conversation on the VMA’s, we don’t need to cuss her out or call her a “weed-induced wannabe porn star” right?

Instead, we can explain why we think what she did or said was out of line. Do we think her clothing demeans women somehow? Was her constant referral to the weed life a misrepresentation of our millennial habits?

How does Miley’s behavior affect us, positively or negatively?

4. Say What We Really Believe.

Let people know what we really believe rather than following Twitter trends.

When photos of Nicki Minaj’s wax figure in Madame Tussauds started popping up (no pun intended) all over social media with men and women using it like a sex object, what did we really think?

Did we get a laugh out of it, but simultaneously feel something wasn’t right? Did we think it was empowering, that Nicki is delusional, that women have the right to depict themselves as they choose?

Rather than simply reposting the photo with an Emoji, why not say something, or even change something?

What if we really can change the world by contributing to the conversation authentically?

5. Crowd Source Solutions.

Crowdsourcing is all the rage. We crowd source funding for movies (even for stars who can pay for it themselves), innovative technology, new products—anything you can imagine.

How about crowd sourcing solutions?

Wouldn’t it be cool if we could take a look at all the opinions out there—the pros and cons—consider that we think and then work together to find some solutions?

That would turn social media on its head and represent the power and strength that we already have.

Millennials have the most powerful voice of our time. We create hashtags to get attention and raise awareness about the things we care about.

Why not take that power and turn social media into an avenue for social change?

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What do you think? I bet Jennifer Lawrence would be glad to help.

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Relephant read:

What Instagram (& other Social Media) Doesn’t Have to Be.

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Author: Seanne N. Murray

Editor: Khara-Jade Warren

Image: Gary Knight/ Flickr

 

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Seanne N. Murray