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Social Media As a Vehicle to World Improvement

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"Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle,
and the life of the candle will not be shortened.
Happiness never decreases by being shared."

- Buddha

Social media is a global networking event that has taken the world by storm. Every day, people from around the world meet at the virtual water cooler and share stories, inspiration and resources during brief intermissions as we go about our daily routine. It is through the wonder of technology that we have the opportunity to make the world a better place without leaving the comfort of our very own laptop or iPhone. We can connect from anywhere to anywhere, all we need is wi-fi and a device. It's that simple.

Social networking can bring out the beauty of human nature. It is not uncommon to see people using Twitter, Google+ or Facebook to shower support and sympathy on those who are enduring tough times, or to see people congratulating others who have reached a top spot on the bestseller list.

Social media is an amazing tool that provides a way for each one of us to do good in the world.

Here are 7 simple ways that you can make the world a better place through social media.

#1: Love Your Neighbor: Be kind. This is a simple idea, but it is amazing how many people forget this one simple rule in life. Put a smile on your tweets, always. Tweet from the loving part of your heart and if you are feeling upset, angry or otherwise not yourself, you may want to find an outlet that will help you get into a better mindset BEFORE you go to social media. As a general rule of thumb, if you want to leave the world better off for you having been in it, be a nice person online and off.

#2: Put On Your Giver Hat: Be generous.
Relationships are all about give and take, but if you want people to benefit from the best of you on social media, be a giver. Retweet more than you broadcast. Share and comment on blog posts that you find value in. Support your supporters. Stay away from gossip. Do amazing things for people when they least expect it. Share the love. Express gratitude easily and often.

#3: Empower: Help Others Believe In Themselves. Social media is a great place to encourage and empower others. If you see tweets, Facebook updates, YouTube videos or Google+ posts where someone talks about a goal he/she is striving for, take a few seconds to send a message of encouragement and praise. Share resources or just give a virtual pat on the back. Be the supportive friend and expect nothing in return. If you do something to empower a friend or follower on social media once a day, by the end of the year you will have empowered over 300 people! Most importantly, do your own personal growth work, so that in your pursuit to encourage others, you can lead by example.

#4: Give Back: If you can't give money, give tweets. Choose 2-3 charities on social media to support with consistency so you can do your part in helping those in need. Write a blog post about your favorite charity, include links to donate and information about upcoming events such as fundraisers, walks and sponsorship opportunities. Send out a tweet or two every day with a link to a charity website or links to videos or blog posts for a cause, so you can spread awareness about important issues. People are busy. So, when you make it easy for them to give back by helping to spread the word on social media, you will not only be supporting a cause but help your audience to do the same.

#5: Honor Karma: Use Your Influence for Good.
As you build your reputation and presence on social media, your online influence will rise and your ability to reach more people will increase. Honor and respect the power that lies in the relationships that you create through this medium and remember that by putting good energy out into the "Twitterverse" everyone benefits. What comes around goes around. If you want to be a happy person, you have to spread happiness to those around you.

# 6: Don't Fall into the Hater Trap. Just as there are many amazing and positive people to connect with on social media, there are also people who take the time to scrutinize what you say, put you down, break you up and maybe even verbally attack you on social media. They may take offense to seemingly benign comments, twist your words and attempt to turn you from the amazing person that you are into one of them. But, you don't need to go there! If you want to make the world a better place through your social media efforts, know that people like this exist and IGNORE them (block them, if need be).

#7: Have Fun: Be the Best You. We were all put on this earth for a purpose. We were also put on this earth to learn, grow and help others to be the best they can be. Social media is a platform that allows you to have fun and enjoy life while inspiring others. It allows us to connect with people all over the world in the click of a button, but it also provides a way for us to make the world a better place just by being exactly who we are.

Are you using social media to make the world a better place? We would love to hear your thoughts, stories and tips in the comments.