Over the last decade the world has developed an expertise in all things social media. We are connecting, interacting, sharing, performing and working social. Within this globalized social landscape, information barriers and cultural boundaries are no longer obstacles. The world and its people are at the click of a ‘like’.
The uses of social media have become traditional, making it all the more opportunistic for out-of-the-box initiatives. Mashable’s recent article, “10 Innovative Uses of Pinterest” by Matt Petronzio sheds light on the many unconventional ways non-profit organizations are using social media, highlighting a recent UNICEF platform on Pinterest. Pinterest is driven by the content of images, but UNICEF looked beyond images and took a new perspective on the use of Pinterest boards.
“The [UNICEF] team began pinning through the eyes of Ami Musa, a fictional 13-year-old girl from Sierra Leone,” writes Petronzio, “The sole board is named “Really Want These,” and it showcases objects we generally take advantage of, including running water, soap and shoes.” The relationship between the content of pinned images with the context in which they were pinned shed light on the many ways social media is meaningful in the world.
In March the Human Rights Campaign used social media to advocate for marriage equality, asking supporters of the issue to change their profile picture to HRC red equality logo. The campaign went viral across the country and throughout the world. The millions of profile swaps painted the Internet red, symbolizing that marriage equality was much more than a political issue in America.
Social media raises awareness, fosters relationships, and dissolves barriers to communication. It is grounded in the international community, influencing everyone directly and indirectly. Organizations are understanding the impact that social media has on the world. It can foster movements that impact social norms, popular culture, and political ideologies. If we are entering a post-social media age, this adds yet another dimension of meaning to our world.