Social media often gets a bad reputation for being a time-waster or source of loneliness for today’s teens and young adults. And sure, social media can create negative feelings, lead to cyberbullying, and promote a sense of narcissism among folks who use it.
However, there are plenty of young people who are using social media to promote social good, and the way you use social media is a choice!
If you’ve felt like social media has been a source of negativity for you lately, consider the following ways to reimagine your social media use, based on actions other young people like you have been taking.
Uplift and promote organizations you care about.
A great place to start your positive social media journey is to work on uplifting your favorite organizations and social justice leaders.
You can write a blog post about important organizations, share their social media content on your pages, and write original posts encouraging your followers to check out these important charities, leaders, and social justice organizations.
It might seem like a small action, but your reach can create a ripple effect that helps more people learn about organizations that matter to you and are helping make the world a better place.
Organize a food or clothing drive online.
Some teens and young people have used social media to organize food, clothing, and toy drives online, and you can too!
Find a homeless shelter, foster care center, children’s hospital, or other organization accepting donations in your local area.
Then, create a social media post and hashtag promoting your drive, and share it widely on your social media pages. Make sure to reach out to friends to help you spread the word!
You can share the date of the drive, the location where people can bring goods, and the window of time you’ll be accepting donations. You can even use social media to enlist friends and family to help you transport donations to the organization!
Share important information to raise awareness of an issue.
Another way to use social media is to raise awareness. You can create an account solely focused on raising awareness about issues like teen suicide, a certain disability or disease, etc.
If there’s an issue you care about that you already have information on, you can start there. Or, start researching an issue that matters to you, even if you don’t know much about it yet.
Each post you make can share a new fact or statistic that will help educate others about the topic.
Of course, remember to cite your sources!
Create a positive online community to motivate and inspire others.
Some students have artistic gifts or writing abilities, and if that’s you, you can use your talents and creativity to create a positive online community!
Choose your favorite social media platform, whether it’s TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or another, and create an account devoted to motivating and inspiring others.
Ask your friends to help you create posts and share the community, or create it on your own. But this account will be devoted to only sharing posts and information that is uplifting for others.
That way, when people see your posts, they feel good and inspired.
Your posts could focus on self-love, self-care, ways to support others, healthy tips and reminders, etc. Choose something that inspires you, and share it with your social media following!
Promote events for social change.
You can also use your social media accounts to promote events that are dedicated to social change.
Perhaps you know of a petition you signed that you want to share or a peaceful march/demonstration you are attending. Use your voice and platform to promote those events so that they get a wider reach!
You can even create your own event, like a virtual postcard writing party or outdoor gathering to brainstorm fundraising ideas for a cause.
Fundraise for your favorite cause.
Social media is also a great place to fundraise for an important cause.
Do your homework first and make sure you know of an organization that is taking donations. Then, create a GoFundMe or Facebook fundraiser (or another of your choice) and promote it to your friends, family, and followers on social media.
Even if you can’t have an in-person fundraiser right now, you can do a lot of good by raising money online! Make sure you give folks all the information they need about where their money is going and what it will help an organization do.
You can use sites like Charity Navigator to find a charitable organization that has a good reputation and uses its money to help people directly.
Offer virtual educational opportunities for kids in need.
Usually, online tutoring platforms require students to be 18 or older to be virtual tutors.
But you can organize a virtual book reading session and invite neighborhood kids to join in.
Consider your talents and skills and research ways that you might be able to share those with kids and other teens online.
Maybe you simply create your own videos teaching a skill and post them to social media, allowing whoever might benefit from them to find them!
Gather friends to help with a virtual volunteer project.
There are also so many virtual volunteering opportunities out there with established organizations.
So find a group of friends to be your fellow volunteers and recruit them to help you with a virtual volunteering effort!
Having friends involved in the project with you will help keep you all accountable and give you opportunities to discuss your experiences and the impact you’re able to make.
Social media does not need to be a negative experience.
With all of these options, you can find a way to use social media for social good and change the world one post at a time!