Monday, January 18, 2016

Social Media & MLK

With a few quiet moments to reflect today, I am drawn to several recordings of Dr. Martin Luther King's speeches and sermons on Spotify.

In one speech, he makes a statement that sounds far more prophetic today, in the world of social media, than anyone could have imagined at the time Dr. King was speaking. Dr. King was talking about scientific advances that have enabled speedy travel throughout the world, and said this:

"Through our scientific genius, we've made of the world a neighborhood. And now, through our moral and ethic commitment, we must make of it a brotherhood. We must all learn to live together as brothers, or we will all perish together as fools."

Not even Dr. King could have imagined that our world-turned-neighborhood would someday empower us with the ability to send messages anywhere in the world, in an instant, to post opinions of others for all to see, and to create strong responses in real people with a click requiring little thought.

How are we using this power?

Certainly many people use their social media reach for good purposes. But how many use it for harm? Or use it without thought to the impact it can make?

Dr. King's message is just as true today: Our world-turned-electronic-neighborhood must now become a brotherhood, or we will fail.

I urge you to make a commitment to promote Dr. King's vision through your use of social media:

*Become an informed citizen.

*Be a peacemaker.

*Be an encouragement to others.

*Be a voice for the vulnerable and powerless.

*Celebrate the positive.

*Stand up for what is good and right.

*Make sure every post is something you would want an employer to see before a job interview.

I often comment that it will be interesting, in 20-30 years, to live in a world led by people who have had social media accounts since they were in middle school and high school. One of those leaders, in some form or fashion, will be you.

Use your social media influence to fulfill Dr. King's vision of a world-turned-neighborhood that grows into a family.

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