Social Media for Social Good

May 1, 2012

by Kim Taylor

Did you feel that?  It’s the tide shifting.  There’s been so much negative talk about how bad social media is … everything from privacy concerns to productivity zappers and a gamut of reasons in between.  Fair enough.  There’s a degree of legitimacy to each concern.

But, perhaps we can silence the critics for a moment.  Facebook today announced a plan to encourage users to add their organ donation status to their timeline—hoping that in doing so others will be encouraged to become organ donors, too.

Imagine for a moment your own experience with organ donation.  Maybe you’ve never given it much thought.  You’re at the DMV (of all places!) and you’re asked to check the box … nobody’s around to encourage or discourage you … so maybe you do, but maybe you don’t.  End of story, right?

Now, imagine you’re scrolling through your Facebook page where friend after friend has updated their status to “Organ Donor.”  That’s bound to seep into your psyche.  The goal isn’t Facebook status, though; supporters hope to ultimately drive users to the national Organ Donor registry.

Of all places, I actually learned of a friend’s heart attack and subsequent transplant several months ago on Facebook.  I watched as friends of friends rallied around (virtually) posting their support with ‘likes’ and inspiring messages.   His survival was enough to solidify my organ donation status; will this move by Facebook change yours?


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