I've been on social media sites for years. Social media was a part of my job as a marketer. Over the last two years, social media has been a lifeline for survival and therapy for me as my daughter fought and lost her battle to cancer. Now, I think of social media as a lifeline for others, and I feel a responsibility to help others in need of a voice. I'm in a position, both as a person and professional, to make the world a better and more empathetic place. My voice is getting louder as I help causes and efforts very close to my heart - pediatric cancer cures, STEM and advancing women. Recently, and with the help of social media, I've expanded my voice to areas that needs more empathy and understanding. Whether it's influencing change in the State of Indiana, sharing stories that might help others, getting the world out about Elon Musk's ideas to reduce carbon emissions, or listening to the needs of minorities in our inner cities - I'm trying to do my part to make our world a better place.
Many of you already act as a megaphone for others. For those of you who do, thank you. I've learned more about the world through your words and images, and am a better person as a result. I've also met some people who are changing the world and are heroes in their own right, and they are my source for inspiration.
But many of us still back away from stating our opinions. We're worried about losing "friends" and "followers", causing controversy, or seeming political. When I retweet or post something, I think about those things too. I don't believe the "opinions are my own" will save me from repercussions. The stakes are high the more you put yourself and your brand in the public domain.
You can state your opinion and be responsible. You can state your opinion and not be political. All you need to do is state your opinion and be human, hopeful and not hateful. Let's raise the world's empathy quotient and make it a better place.