Today I got all passionate again on a panel at the Facebook headquarters about the people that we work with, and how important it is that their stories are heard.
It’s nearly two years now since a Facebook post that I wrote on my personal Facebook page changed my life, and consequently the lives of a lot of other people forever. So it was super special for me to be at the Facebook HQ talking about using social media platforms for social good.
Two years ago, a naive post I wrote following a spontaneous visit to the Calais Jungle, (I worked in Fashion at the time and knew nothing about refugees) went viral and sparked the beginning of The Worldwide Tribe.
Things have been the most incredible rollercoaster whirlwind since then, as this global community has come together, irrespective of religion, race, nationality, language or borders, to help those of us who need it.
In this time, Facebook and Instagram, and the stories we have shared via these platforms have resulted in so much action, from the donation of thousands of blankets or sleeping bags (for example if we shared that the residents in the camp were cold), to actually saving lives.
This journey has opened my eyes and my mind to the world of opportunities social media has created for us all. No longer is the world big and scary, no longer are people far away or different from us. No longer can we separate ourselves from world issues with physical distance or lack of information.
We are all connected.
We are all the same.
We are all human, and social media is a wonderful tool, imperative in inspiring and creating a world of conscious, international citizens who care about the world and the people we share it with.
Now I’m not saying I no longer ever mindlessly scroll through selfies and cat gifs, of course I do, but I also uphold Facebook, Instagram and fellow social media channels as a powerful tool for social change.
With the ability for anyone to share their opinions and have their voice heard, it brings power and responsibility to each one of us, as individuals, to use this resource effectively.
You don’t need to have time to volunteer, or money to donate. You don’t need to be on the front line, building shelters in Calais or bringing boats to safety on the shores of Lesvos. All you need is to share a post, to embark in open, honest conversation. To read, to listen, to spread the word of compassion and love, from the comfort of your own bed, your toilet, your sofa, your train seat.
What a gift it is to live in an age where the power is at our fingertips. Lets embrace it, step up and use it effectively to make this world a more beautiful, more loving, more compassionate and connected place to be!