The Gift of Social Media is in the Interaction

by Elena on August 14, 2012 in Giving Back

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.

Social Media Touches are a gift | Ciao Mom

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:

Putting the Social into Social Media | Ciao Mom


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.

Rockstar blogger, runner, and advocate for social good Renee Ross shared her story yesterday and tomorrow, I hand off the virtual baton to Anissa, a woman whose heart knows no bounds.

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.

Ciao Mom


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 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.

You can learn more about Shot@Life by joining their email list, following them on twitter or liking them on Facebook. Read the Blogust FAQ’s here.


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Laura August 15, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Happy to be part of this great cause!

The Lucky Wife/Anne August 15, 2012 at 9:27 pm

Wow… this is a really great post and a great cause, too. I sure hope the goal is reached… no… surpassed!

Laura August 15, 2012 at 9:27 pm

This is such a wonderful thing Elena! My blog focusses on my child and her journey through infantile scoliosis so knowing that my comment here will help another child is great! Thank you so much for being a part of this. :-)

Lindsay - life and kitchen August 15, 2012 at 9:29 pm

What a wonderful gift! Love it!

Shellie Braeuner August 15, 2012 at 9:29 pm

It’s unfortunate that for many parents, its’ not money that prevents vaccination, but fear. There is absolutely NO correlation between vaccines and autism.

Missy | The Literal Mom August 15, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Elena – this is so beautiful that you’re a part of this. I feel so blessed to call you friend. :)

Chris Carter August 15, 2012 at 9:44 pm

I too, love to use my voice to hopefully encourage mothers everywhere through my blog, Thank you for all you do to inspire others!!!! Your voice is powerful and truly a gift!!

Boston Mamas August 15, 2012 at 9:45 pm

You already know what a rock star I think you are. Thanks for continuing the awesome with this important initiative!

Toqua's Crafts August 15, 2012 at 10:04 pm

I am happy to help this cause by leaving my comment.

Asha {Parent Hacks} August 15, 2012 at 10:07 pm

I love the idea of “touches.” Makes this virtual thing we do feel more real…the point, as you said…it already is real. Thank you for being part of this amazing project!

Christine @ Love, Life, Surf August 16, 2012 at 12:46 am

This is an incredible post and thing that you all are doing. Not only is it such an important cause but I love the idea of harnessing the power of social media in this way.

Celeste August 16, 2012 at 4:32 am

Commenting for one more vaccinated kid!

Denise August 16, 2012 at 7:38 am

This a really beautiful endeavor. I’m happy to be a part of it by providing a comment. You have such a lovely blog. Thanks for sharing.

Heyward August 16, 2012 at 8:36 am

Elena, congratulations on embarking on your new full time career! I admire you for having the guts to take such a big step, and I hope you have wonderful success with this fundraising effort.

Betsy August 16, 2012 at 9:14 am

I too am so happy to be part of the blogging community and to participate extraordinary measures of selflessness like this one. Hope you reach 10K vaccinations! Good luck!

Dana McIntyre August 16, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Elena, your drive to help others is so inspiring, and it is clear from the other comments that others very much agree. Thank you for all that you do to get people involved in such a life saving program for these children.

HerJam August 16, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Social media for social good…what an amazing concept! Thanks for participating to help Shot@Life achieve this most important goal.

Laverne August 16, 2012 at 7:13 pm

How freckin incredible is this!!! Oh and I hope {fingers crossed} I’m not too late. My dear friend not only does your beauty shine through in this post for a cause but this post is just so very beautiful. So meaningful and I can relate to it on so many levels! I hope my comment counts! XOXXO

Michele August 17, 2012 at 2:57 am

Great cause!! I had never seen your blog before this whole blogust thing, which I’ve been trying to keep up with this month and hit every post. But this one makes me want to subscribe, which I will now do! Thanks for your awesome contribution! Oh geeze, better hit submit before I start to sound any more like spam. 😀

Dawn Sandomeno August 17, 2012 at 9:49 am

I love this campaign, and I hope to show my support for it with this comment!

Gwen August 17, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Thanks, Elena, for taking part in such a great campaign. It makes me very happy to be able to contribute in a small way to something so important.

Lisa Hayes August 17, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Thanks for the chance to be a part of this campaign.

Danica Kombol August 17, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Elena, You may not know this but my father had Polio. When I gave my children their polio vaccines, I knew I was giving them a shot at a good life. I am so glad you wrote this post!

Fiona Breen August 18, 2012 at 6:13 am

I found your thoughts are authenticity online and connecting with others thought provoking. Like your friend, I view too much revelation online suspiciously…but I love the idea of using online communication to ‘touch’ others. That’s so positive.

Anne August 19, 2012 at 2:48 am

Seeking to be truthfully honest and making intentional contacts is practice that will make the world better.
I’m glad to have found this blog relay and am enjoying discovering such thoughtful writers and so many people who are working for healthy children everywhere.

Ewokmama August 19, 2012 at 2:10 pm

I’m loving this campaign. Yay for helping kids!

mike August 20, 2012 at 11:50 am

Such an amazing idea. Thanks for the chance to help make a difference.

Justin Gronfur August 20, 2012 at 5:04 pm

I heard about Shot@Life through FaceBook (via and things like this are turning me into a social media advocate for the poor. Thank you for being an advocate of such a great cause as Shot@Life and thank you for your blog.

Kelly Heisler August 20, 2012 at 6:41 pm

You know that I fully support Social Media for Social Good so thank you for all you do and bringing this to our attention! You are the best Elena!

WaterRat August 21, 2012 at 11:54 pm

I love following this relay and finding all these great new voices. What a great way to spread the word. I look forward to reading the whole month of the relay.

Elise August 23, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Thanks for sharing the 10 meaningful touches per week inspiration from Morra!

Diana August 23, 2012 at 8:29 pm

This is a fantastic initiative, raising awareness, raising funds and making it easy for us mouse-potatoes to get involved and help out.
It should also encourage us to think – and discuss – the necessary education campaigns that should accompany such immunisation drives. There is still a lot of ignorance to be overcome, even in developed countries such as the USA, and unfortunately, we are now also dealing with the backlash of the covert operations in Pakistan that took place under the guise of vaccination campaigns.
Lots of work to do, but, as the famous proverb says, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”
Thank you for participating!

Vanessa August 27, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Thanks so much for the chance to bring shots to children in need. It is hard in every day life to find the opportunity to do such good with so little effort. Thanks for what you and Shot@life are doing!

Brandy Robertson August 27, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Here I go with comment #2 because I love this idea so very much!
I recently got back from a wonderful weekend in Ottawa Canada with an organisation that is near and dear to my heart. World University Service of Canada (WUSC) works to bring students from refugee camps in Africa and Asia to study in Canadian universities and colleges. I told everyone about Blogust and what a great fundraising initiative it is. What I wouldn’t give to find a generous donor to contribute to WUSC’s Student Refugee Program (SRP) in the same way! I am currently fundraising in my own small way for the SRP by challenging myself to run a half marathon in December and blogging about it here:http://21kforchange.blogspot.c…
Communities, be it online or otherwise, coming together for a cause is just so incredibly inspiring to me!
Thank you, Elena, for taking part!

Adrian August 28, 2012 at 1:12 am

I’m hoping that additional comments count towards the total. I’m making a second pass through the calendar to catch a few days I missed the first time around.

Denise Kelly March 5, 2013 at 6:36 pm

I was vaccinated for Polio in 1963, but still came down with the disease. I was diagnosed with Post-Polio Syndrome in 2000. I would not wish this life on my worst enemy, to put a child through something like this is unthinkable in this day and age. People who have use of both legs and arms just don’t know how blessed they are.

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