Don’t get me wrong, finally getting charitable status for Angels is incredible. There has been a lot of hard work, a lot of prayers and a lot of people deserve thanks for getting us to this stage. Angels has been floating around as a concept for me for the last 6 years or so, all there in my head, in my heart, waiting to be realized…I should be over the moon, but there is a cloud on my horizon – forgive the double metaphor – and it is starting to loom large!
SOCIAL MEDIA – my own private nemesis.
My modern dilemma is that in many ways to advance Angels, I need to engage with social media. On a positive note, it can spread the word about who we are and what we do. It can help us to find supporters and volunteers, it can help to raise vital funds for our work, BUT…
And there it is the big BUT!
I came late to the internet, left to my own devices I’d be happy with a quill pen and I mourn the age of letter writing, but I like to think I’m a lifelong learner and so I gave social media a go.
When I was studying for my law degree, my fellow students were all in a chat group and the majority had Facebook profiles so I joined Facebook – other sites are available! I posted some thoughts, much as I’m doing now, I suppose but less wordy – I make no apologies😉
And here’s the rub; I found myself checking my ‘phone all the time to see if anyone had, ‘liked’ the posts or posted a comment. Very quickly I realized how important those ‘likes’ were becoming. I realized that I was seeking validation through social media for my thoughts and opinions, for the snapshots of my life I was posting.
I consider myself a strong, self-confident person and it worried me that I was in danger of sacrificing that. I closed the accounts.
A wise man once asked me what was the one thing that everyone needed? Thinking that I was being clever and a good Christian, I answered him, “love”.
“Not so” he told me, well and truly bursting my balloon. “What each and every one us needs is to be understood.” In many ways that is the premise behind advocacy, the need for understanding, to be truly heard, to experience compassion born of empathy.
My problem with social media, is that we have created a dependency on it. We no longer have confidence in our decision making or our tastes, thoughts and opinions. We doubt ourselves. We are increasingly relying on ‘likes’. Rather than celebrating our differences, differences are trolled. How does that promote understanding?
So that’s my dilemma for Angels – to post or not to post? Perhaps Angels can be a positive social media presence, but it will be a fine line to tread.