This past Tuesday was Mandela Day which is an international celebrated day where individuals spend 67 minutes partaking in community service or volunteerism. The day serves to celebrate the legacy that was Nelson Mandela’s selflessness, with the 67 minutes stemming from the 67 years he spent fighting for equality for all. Over the course of the day, images are plastered all over social media with users showcasing the charitable sides of their personalities. This is all well and good but do their followers continue to see this side of them for the 525 533 minutes that is the rest of the year?
We have become so entrenched in building a portfolio of ourselves online, carefully selecting what people see in hopes of being perceived in a certain way. The 67 minutes spent doing good can be misused as a photo-op in hopes of garnering more followers. This begs the question of whether or not people would still feel good about volunteering if they weren’t recognized for it.
Granted in this day and age, if you want to put a message across, you have to have some form of online presence in order for it to get attention. This was evident in 2014 with the Ice Bucket Challenge that was used to display solidarity with individuals suffering from ALS. Although the social media trend did raise over $10 million dollars for the respective charity, a few celebrities did hijack the challenge merely for shock value. Lady Gaga drenched herself in water whilst Charlie Sheen preferred to dump money over his head.
Having said this, there is nothing wrong with doing good nor encouraging others to do the same as long as it’s for the benefit of the less fortunate and not the desire to increase your likes. Thus social media can have a place when it comes to charitable work.
Charities as well as volunteer organisations can use social media as ways of promotion. Furthermore, the volunteers that have worked with the organisations cannot only account for their credibility but they can also provide their followers with information on how to contact the organisation if they wish to do their part.
Be The Change You Wish To See In The World.