Less than a year ago, my sister and I were using the Internet like most teens do. We weren’t using it as a tool for bullying, but we weren’t necessarily using it for good either. We were in that neutral place where most teens stay. Our social media accounts were for interacting with friends and family, and neither of us had tried our hand at blogging.
One day we started noticing that some people were using social media to bully others and we saw the negative impact it had on their targets. It was really sad to see, and we knew we had to do something about it. That was when our anti-cyberbullying and positive self-esteem campaign, Think Before You Type, was born. Since then, we have been introduced to a different side of the Internet – one that is positive and uplifting. Discovering this has been a truly incredible and refreshing experience.
Though it may require certain sacrifices, using the Internet to help others doesn’t have to consume your life. It can be as simple as taking the time to say kind words to someone or letting them know you’re there for them. Just like words have the power to negatively affect others, they also possess the power to have a positive impact. My sister and I have tried hard to embrace this idea and make it a part of TBYT.
Every Sunday we film a video with a challenge to our supporters that encourages them to personally influence their communities. We’ve been blessed to see these “Weekly Dares” inspire our supporters to take the time to think about all the people in their lives. It’s amazing to see how much a simple act of kindness on the Internet can help others. You’ll never know how much of an impact you can have unless you try.
Here are a few suggestions to get you thinking about what you can do to make a difference:
My sister and I would like to encourage you to take the time to do something good on the Internet. We both have seen the positive effects it can have on others. Hopefully these examples and the story of our experience will spark your interest and get you thinking about the countless other things you can do. We dare you to try it, and we promise you that if you do, you’ll uncover a world of good.
Cover image courtesy of Flickr