My friend Mike recommended I read the Dragonfly Effect by Jennifer Aaker and Andy Smith. Mike and I met up at the library as he was returning it so I could check it out immediately and I’ve been enjoying it ever since.
I read out loud an excerpt to my boys, ages 8 & 11, from the introduction about happiness: “… in a study of more than 4700 people who were followed over twenty years, researchers reveal that happiness really is contagious: people who are happy (or become happy) significantly boost the chances that their friends will become happy; the power of happiness can span up to two more degrees of separation, improving the mood of that person’s husband, wife, brother, sister, friend and even friend’s friend.”
The book is about using social media to drive social change with many excellent, compelling case studies of how it’s being done. The biggest example is probably how Obama used it and if it weren’t for social media he wouldn’t be the president of the US. That’s a fact. Or how Kiva.org (which my friend John Morris occasionally tweets about) is changing people’s lives all over the world by matching up micro-lenders to entrepreneurs in developing countries.
If you think social media has no use, think again. Think about using social media to spread some happiness. Use it to help make an impact. Use it to contribute.
It doesn’t have to be that big. If you have a story to tell that could make someone happy, tell it. If something nice happened to you, share it. If someone did something kind, let people know. Spread some happiness because you have no idea the ripple effect that can happen.
One thing I have found since living on PEI is what community support looks like . The beautiful thing about social media is that it has the power to be global. Our community jut got a lot bigger. Lord knows that there are enough people that need help in our own community, however it is inspiring to hear of the significant impact that a passionate person who wants to help and how they have made a difference by tapping into their networks through social media. The stories of this in the the Dragonfly Effect are really quite amazing and inspiring.
Setting up a blog/site about their idea or cause, telling their inspiring story, sharing it throughout their networks, setting it up so that it could be shared easily through their friends’ networks, measuring the results and tweeting about it, blogging it, Facebooking it, Youtubing it, etc. Creating a buzz from genuine compassion is what it takes.
There’s more to it than that but those are the basics. And if you need help with any of it, let me know. I usually work on business strategy and how to use social media to market, promote, engage, research, etc. but anyone who knows me knows that I have used it to further a “cause” or two to the best of my ability in one small way or another.
Those of you with big networks, I challenge you. Consider spreading some happiness a bit more often. Post about more “good news” stories. If you’re a person of influence and adept at using social media… what cause can you help out just by throwing out a little tweet or update about it? What organization are you passionate about that you could help out by sharing their story, their efforts?
Yeah, I’m talking to you.
Start by sharing this post 🙂 or making a comment 😉
And if you’re inspired and want to be blown away by how it’s happening, watch this Ted talk by Chris Anderson ( a master of sharing “ideas worth spreading”) which I frequently show in workshops: