Twitter for Good

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The reason that I initially started this blog is because I have become absolutely fascinated with the intersections of social media and social justice. I have spent the last four years as a communication major learning about how social media can be used as a force of good in our world.

This obsession began my sophomore year when I read a book entitled “Twitter for Good: how to change the world one tweet at a time.” This book is written by Claire Diaz-Ortiz, Head of Corporate Social Innovation and Philanthropy at Twitter. This book opened my eyes to an entire field that I knew absolutely nothing about: using social media to strategize and create social campaigns that work toward achieving social good.

Claire uses her knowledge and insight to explain everything from finding your voice, to contacting influencers on Twitter, to creating an effective campaign. My favorite takeaway from this book is the T.W.E.E.T. framework (Target, Write, Engage, Explore, Track) which is Claire’s five-step model for success on Twitter.

As a college student, I am constantly being told that my age group only uses social media to one-up each other, or to perform a certain identity. Reading this book reminded me that we are all capable of ethically and mindfully using social platforms to work toward a goal much bigger than ourselves. It highlights the incredible power that social media has in order to create a movement.

This book is highly recommended for anyone who is working to understand how to use twitter for good, or is just trying to figure out how to develop a true voice on twitter. This video explains Claire’s methods a little further.

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Take The Phone Off the Hook and Dissapear For a While

Last week, I had my Spotify on shuffle when one of my all time favorite songs came on. “Vienna” by Billy Joel has always been one of those songs that stops me right in my tracks. No matter where I am, when I hear this song, I always stop to take a moment and reflect.

Slow down you crazy child
You’re so ambitious for a juvenile
But then if you’re so smart tell me,
Why are you still so afraid?

Slow down you crazy child
Take the phone off the hook and disappear for a while
It’s alright, you can afford to lose a day or two

So what does this song have anything to do with social media? When I hear this song, I almost always think about my unhealthy attachment to my iPhone and social media. This past semester, I’ve thought more deeply about my attachment to my phone and my reliance on social media, and the effect that both of these things have on my anxiety levels as a college student. I’m constantly checking snapchat updates, refreshing my Twitter feed, and liking Facebook posts. Whenever I have a free minute at a stoplight or before a class begins, I almost instinctively reach for my phone. The question that I’ve been asking myself for the past few weeks has been…why am I so afraid to be alone?

As I discussed in a previous blog post, I was able to spend a week on a service trip in the Appalachian mountains a few weeks ago. One of my goals for this week was to cut back on checking my phone. At first, I constantly felt the urge to check my phone..almost as if my phone was a drug. But as my week went on, I found myself wanting to check my phone less and less. I was able to be present to the many experiences I had throughout my week. And it dawned on me. Why can’t I cut back on my phone usage in my every day life? Why did I have to travel to the Appalachian mountains to see that my phone addiction was unhealthy.

I think that I will always love my phone, and I will always want to check it. But since my service trip, I’ve made an effort to check social media less and less..and I can honestly say that I’m already feeling better and more in tune with myself.