Blog016: When social media works.

I just reached out. And people were there to help.

The good side of social media

Ever notice how social media can be a bit rough sometimes? The fact that it’s a highlight reel can really make others feel like they aren’t living la vida loca, or that they are successful enough. Spend any amount of time with me and you’ll discover that I personally don’t consume much social media, other than a few posts a month I am relatively quiet there. Not because I dislike it, more along the lines of I don’t want to chase that shiny like, or that next beaming comment. Dude you post daily here I can hear you say, and yes I do, this is more a creative exercise, forcing me to create something daily. Maybe I’ll translate that into social media? Maybe? Not today, today I want to tell you a heart warming tale where social media saved a life.

Over the last 2 years I have participated as an artist at an event called Food for Thought. FFT was an event designed to create awareness that there’s more to the story than those highlight reels, and that sometimes you need to reach out. My portrait series for the event features huge prints of faces, 8FT X 4FT prints of close ups on faces make you stop and look, they scale is to show how large mental health issues can be, the event has people in place to listen, and to lend a hand to those who could use a helping hand.

The stories behind those faces are diverse, each one peppered with soul and humanity. They are by no means the full story, just a glimpse, at an authentic, albeit hard to capture moment, in a conversation between myself and the subject.

One of the stories was about how social media had made a massive positive change. In the depth of their depression they reached out, and spilled the story into their feed, asking for someone to help. Amazingly someone reached out, and that was the positive input needed to create a lasting bond, a friendship that would save a life.

Have I over criticized social media for being a haven of selfies and highlight reels? Maybe?

Do I think that social media is a great tool to help others? I do now.

Authentic relationships with like minded individuals.

We could all use more authentic connections.

If you’re in the area, drop by Sunday at the market square and help change the conversation about “doing alright”.

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