Today I am thrilled to participate in Shot@Life’s Blogust: Blog Relay for Good, where 31 bloggers, one each day in August, are writing about people from our communities who have inspired us and where YOU have the chance to make a difference and give a gift with just one comment.
Becoming a blogger was never something I anticipated. It was not a dream of mine. I was not even keenly aware of this social media space or the profound depth of people that are involved with it until a few months before I started. To say that my evolution to blogging as a hobby, a new found passion, and now as my sole career was a surprise would be… an understatement.
Except that once you start in this space, and begin to find your voice….it really should be no surprise. Because this space is made up of people. With so many backgrounds, experiences, dreams, and voices. Just like in our real lives, our virtual life becomes filled with interactions…blog posts, comments, tweets, Facebook, or Instagram messages. We share our secrets, our passions, our dreams. We share our fears, our pain, and our frustration.
When I started this journey, I had an in real life friend that could not fathom why I would be sharing my innermost thoughts so publicly with people that I did not even know. It was incomprehensible to her that I would share those parts of me that I had not even talked about “in real life.”
Except of course, that this is part of our real life. This space. The faces of avatars and comments. The voices. The emotions. The relationships that become real when we connect at conferences and events. The fact that sometimes it is easier to open up with a keyboard in front of us just means that we have found a vehicle to share our voice.
And… if we can touch someone else with our voice or let ourselves be touched by another? That is a gift.
Like the time a reader wrote to me saying:
Each of us, as we share our voice–whether it is in real life or virtually, can have a profound impact sometimes without even knowing it. Whether we use that voice to make people laugh, think, feel, or take action…using our voice in a positive and impactful way gives meaning to what we do. Our interactions in this space make it real because with each comment, message, blog post or tweet, we are leaving an imprint. Sometimes our imprints are silly like when we tweet while watching television (ok, some would argue that those types of tweets are far from silly). Sometimes they are serious. But each time we interact, it is as if we are touching someone else.
Truth be told…we need these touches. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get busy and I forget how important these touches truly are. Morra Aarons-Mele, a savvy social media maven whose work inspires me, recently described her golden rule about being social and interacting in this space with authenticity and meaning. Morra’s rule for herself is that she must create ten touches per week. Ten meaningful interactions to foster and build relationships. A heartfelt comment on a post, an email that reaches out beyond just the day to day things we must do, or even an in real life coffee with someone. Ten touches. Ten attempts to extend our voice and create more opportunities for the gift of interaction.
Ten is a realistic number of touches each week. The concept is easy really. Being intentional about making contact and interacting. Because interacting is a powerful thing wherever it happens.
So today it is your turn to interact.
Not only will you be sharing your voice, but your comment, and every comment during these 31 days, will give $20 to vaccinate a child against measles, pneumonia, diarrhea and polio, up to $200,000. That’s 10,000 kids. I will repeat, 10,000 kids being protected against diseases that are entirely preventable.
A child dies every 20 seconds from a vaccine preventable disease. We can help stop this. Comment today. Comment tomorrow on Anissa’s post. Comment every day. Tell your friends to comment.
Use social media to give this gift of touch today and even more importantly, to give 10,000 children the gift of a Shot@Life.
PS…World-renowned photographer and Shot@Life Global Advocate Anne Geddes has been so inspired by the response from our communities that she has kicked off a new fundraising initiative on Crowdrise.com to raise even more! If you want to do more than comment, you can contribute $20 to help save a child’s life by supporting the Blogust matching Crowdrise for Shot@Life.