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March 31, 2010, at 1:06 pm — Audio | audio podcast | Blogs / / / / / /

Social Networking helps Societal Progress

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About 30 days ago, I started a Compassion Food photo blog on Facebook. (I’ll save the details for next week’s topic on Food.) For 30 days, I made a vow to eat only grass-fed organic meat, mostly greens, ultimately making sure that whatever traveled to my plate was treated compassionately and in turn, I was showing compassion to body. The response on Facebook has been so encouraging. I had people I haven’t talked to in years emailing me, encouraging the message behind the photo blog. People I didn’t know also messaged me. This got me thinking about social networking and the power behind finding a niche audience to push for social change; perhaps for purposes of this article, we’ll call this group a tribe.

The idea of tribes is age-old. People have come together in clumps around gender, ethnicity, kin, and religion for thousands of years. Today, with the plethora of ideas out there, it can seem overwhelming to get people organized around a given cause. For example, I am particularly interested in environmental advocacy. There have been times were I felt like any work I do barely makes a dent on the larger issues at hand. I am starting to realize, specifically through the research of folks like Seth Godin and David Logan that you don’t need to get thousands of people on your team to see societal progression. You just need to find a tribe that believes in what you believe in and connect them to other tribes who can act as allies. That is how we can achieve sustained change. The people who commented on my photo blog are probably coming from a similar mindset; they are thinking about what kind of food to put in their bodies and perhaps how to eat healthier and more aware of the impact our consumption has on the world.

For those of us interested in demanding a higher consciousness of society, progression and social justice, the idea of finding a few passionate people on our side seems much less overwhelming than finding scores. Social networking can be a tool used to find these people. Be it through Facebook, Twitter, Linkedn, what have you, the possibilities of connecting with like-minded individuals is boundless. Now, let’s get to it!

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