The Heart and Soul of Social Networking

Amid our ethical concerns about the downside of computer technology in general and social networking in particular, I celebrate the example that people provide in their charitable work, especially in how that work is helped by leveraging the power of many through social networking and social media.

In an article by Bob Braun in The Star Ledger (see online article link below), I became aware of Katie Meyler, who has devoted herself to helping young girls in Liberia out of poverty through education. Katie founded the More Than Me foundation to provide support for this work.

To highlight how social networking and social media can be used to promote a positive ethical purpose, I wanted to share her example and invite your comments on her work and how we can use these online platforms for social good.

Here are some links to her charitable work on the More Than Me Foundation Web site:

http://www.morethanme.org/story.html

http://www.morethanme.org/blog

I welcome your comments about how we can transform the nature of charitable work and giving through social networking and social media.

Thanks for sharing,

Doc

Bob Braun’s article about Katie in The Star Ledger via nj.com:

http://blog.nj.com/njv_bob_braun/2011/11/braun_homeless_somerset_county.html

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19 Responses to The Heart and Soul of Social Networking

  1. Laura says:

    Thank you for sharing this charity event. Very inspiring! I voted and passed it on to others on my facebook.

  2. Doc says:

    Bravo Katie Meyler and to Laura and all those who voted for More Than Me foundation in Chase’s American Giving Awards! Our continued best wishes, support, and prayers for you, for Abigail, and all the girls in Liberia who can now go to school! We all win by using social networking for social good.

  3. Claire says:

    What a great way to utilize social networks for the benefit of others! Very Cool Doc 🙂

  4. Doc says:

    Thanks Claire, for sharing your comment about the example Katie and More Than Me Foundation provide in the use of social media for social good.

  5. Jan says:

    This is heartwarming. There are so many articles and concerns today that our young people are too involved in social media and social networking that we aren’t making the human connection. This is a wonderful display of how social networking can be used to further the human connection and help others.

  6. Doc says:

    Thanks Jan, for sharing your insights about young people and the positive side of social networking. Katie Meyler is a young person and devotes her life to helping girls in Liberia and her friends and their friends on social media were the ones to support her in this effort (and many help her in person). Also, I recently saw the movie, God’s Not Dead, and at the end of the movie they asked everyone to text that message to their friends and as I was leaving the theater, I saw many young people sharing that message in their seats before leaving.

  7. Eric says:

    Hearing the stories that Katie shared were both heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. Knowing that she now has funds to expand the services that she offers to the children of Liberia is a ringing endorsement for the use of social media to advance causes that need funding. My wife’s grandparents (now deceased) were missionaries in Cote d’Ivoire for almost 40 years. They recounted numerous stories of the plight of the people in this West African country. I can only imagine how much easier it would have been for them to raise funds for the medical missions and Bible translation that they conducted over four decades had they had access to the social networking that we are inundated with.

  8. Doc says:

    Thanks Eric, for sharing your insights about the positive role that social networking and social media can play in promoting social good, especially for raising needed resources for the kinds of causes that Katie represents. And yes, we can imagine how global internetworking and the social software we now use could have advanced previous missionary and similar efforts, but we can take heart in the fact that the foundation for good will was created by those before us and that we can now find creative ways to use digital marketing and promotion to further those causes.

  9. Janet says:

    As others have said, this is an amazing example of how social networking can truly help those in need. The site does not make a generalized appeal but brings in personal stories to truly inform the reader of who this affects. The stories of the girls are so moving and immediately make you want to make a donation or fly over to Liberia to help. Unfortunately, with the Ebola outbreak this is not an option. The individual stories about the girls give the organization a more personalized understanding of why and how it is so important to support them. Bravo to receiving Chase’s American Giving Award! I couldn’t agree more that this is a cause worth supporting.

  10. Doc says:

    Thanks Janet for pointing out that there are many reasons why we might not otherwise know or connect with causes that we discover through a social media campaign or social networking site. Fortunately, individuals are responding through online donations, and companies like Chase are acting as a go-between to make these connections, provide support, and garner the brand recognition and customer prospects that accrue to positive social media marketing.

  11. Christian says:

    Wow! This is such a powerful story. More than me is an amazing organization and I am proud to have found out about an organization that makes this incredible impact in the lives of girls – Phenomenal! Social media indeed helps to one’s message out and in this case though social media we are able to see the power of compassion and love in action.

    I am amazed!

  12. Christian says:

    I just watched her acceptance speech again – wow! Dreams really do come true.

  13. Doc says:

    Thanks Christian for sharing your thoughts and feelings about the power of social media to support social good as exemplified in the work of More Than Me Foundation. I fully expect that you will harness this power for similar good, so there is the double blessing, Doc

  14. Cynthia says:

    Thanks for this inspirational story. I am glad we all have different roads we travel. God has angels everywhere ready to fulfill his people’s needs. Amen

  15. Doc says:

    Thanks Cynthia for sharing your insights about the inspiration that using social media for social good can provide, and how that good can be divine in nature – on earth as it is in heaven.

  16. Felicia G says:

    I am always happy to see good things being spread or going viral on the web. I appreciate the time and care that is being shown here. This is the kind of thing that should “break the internet”. Great job. Doc, thanks for sharing.

  17. Doc says:

    Thanks Felicia for underscoring the double benefits of sharing through online social media the social good that is being done: for those who do that good and for those who support it in their “likes”

  18. Dwight Farris says:

    Social networking is connecting, and the idea of socially bonding with fellow humans in unique methods and for a number of reasons predates the concept of the technologically driven online community. Moreover, the plethora of group-impact lessons learned verses the individual influence has driven educators, scientist, psychologists, and philosophers to continue investigating the enormity of the socially associative phenomenon. In fact, neuroscientists are on the verge of providing a scientific explanation of why humans are prone to be socially connected (Cozolino, 2014).
    That said, I am certain there is not a global requirement to provide a scientific explanation of why we all inertly strive to socially connect. However, from a scholarly perspective, a level of comfort could be established if a credible explanation is available, and many of the inquiries about ‘why we gather’ could be answered. Furthermore, I posit that offering a conjecture about group dynamics and group impact should no longer suffice as an intellectual elucidation. I also contend that now is the time to, not only highlight social movements such as the More Than Me Foundation, but the continuance of viable scholarly research on the impact of social connections and networking should ensue.
    I am distinctly aware that this scholarly mandate may produce a counter-awareness of actual movements, however, credibility creates informational momentum on several fronts, and many individuals aspire to learn more when information continues to be presented in this manner.
    Hence, technology and the many platforms avail to us will provide the global social networking structure to disseminate all facets of the influences of groups, social links, and online communities. I postulate that this concept of connectedness, utilizing social media, represents the essence of human social awareness and its impact on initiatives, no matter where they emanate around the globe.
    References
    Cozolino, L. (2014). The Neuroscience of Human Relationships: Attachment and the Developing Social Brain (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology). WW Norton & Company.

  19. Doc says:

    Thanks Dwight for sharing your insights and relevant references to the scientific understanding of social networking.

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