I love Twitter. There, I said it. I do. I get a lot of flack from people often telling me I'm wasting my life by having/using Twitter. And you know, maybe I am to a certain extent, but I'm okay with that. I actually find Twitter to be a powerful resource. It helps me stay connected with my friends and other people that I like to learn from but would never get a chance to be around in full-time in my current position in life. A lot of people tell me I just need to have Facebook and not Twitter. But I find them to be two completely different social networking tools and since I know how to use them both "properly" (in my opinion), I get different things from each. I think for most people, social networking scares them. Maybe it's right for you, maybe it's not—that's for YOU to decide. It's also up to you to decide how to use them and what boundaries to set. I know people who maintain the balance without "losing their souls." (As I've heard others state about the dangers of social networking sites.)
One of my favorite people that I follow on Twitter is JEREMY COWART. I probably wouldn't have even ever heard of him if I wasn't following Parachute on Twitter. They tweeted one day about a photo shoot that Jeremy was doing for them. They posted his Twitter handle and I went over to look at his site. I was completely stunned at how amazingly talented he is. And it was a huge bonus plus when I discovered that he is very much into faith and social justice.
Today he tweeted something that has just been resonating in my own heart lately concerning the situation in Haiti:
Jeremy was a huge supporter of serving and taking care of the people in Haiti after the disaster struck. He flew over there to help, not just take pictures. In fact, he stated in a message to people in his social network about how his primary concern in going was the people, and not the job of being a photographer. That is honorable—yet he remained humble about it all. Ever since he went over, he's been doing all he can to provide help for those in Haiti.
With the rainy season approaching and many of the Haitians still without shelter, I've been thinking and praying a lot about how Haiti has been slipping off the radar. I realize that all of a sudden there seems to be an influx of natural disasters and that we can't always save everyone. That doesn't make me want to remember any of them any less though. Our world is huge and crazy stuff happens, but I am not alone. We are not alone. It is our job as human beings to care for each other and help each other become the best we can with as much as we are able to give—whether that be with money, time, possessions, thoughts, or our voices.
The other day I was looking on MSN, as I do every day and reading the news updates and such. On the bottom side bar, they were tracking which topics were trending and which were fading away on Twitter. Justin Beiber and Avatar were up and Haiti had a big red down arrow next to it. My heart sank. Really? Justin Beiber and Avatar are more notable? I get that the majority of users on Twitter are teenagers and are currently obsessed with the Beibster. If you know me, you know that I am a HUGE fan of pop culture. But after seeing that, I just couldn't help but worry that I might one day reach a point where I also become so consumed in pop culture that I forget about the world around me. It is my utmost prayer that that never happens.
It's amazing to me how all these thoughts that have been building up in my head all week have kind of made their way to the forefront of my mind even more, with a little help from social networking. In fact, this morning, my friend Cory tweeted this:
And I wanted to Re-Tweet it, but I'm 95% sure it would just come across as arrogance and elitism, and that's NOT what I'm going for. It really challenged me. I can't do anything but agree. I am sometimes WAY TOO in love with myself and not others. I've got work to do. I never want to get to the point where I lose sight of the things and people that matter. I'm just a small spec on this planet, and I have an opportunity every day to sow seeds of love, compassion, honesty, and kindness. I never want to miss those opportunities—I can't get them back.