When considering what to name this post, I kept having two vivid, albeit cliched images in my head: harnessing the power of lightning and the ripple effect of a tiny little pebble in an otherwise still pond.
The truth is, when it comes to the potential effect we have on people, we have a lot more influence than we realize. I have to admit, a small part of me feels good when, on Facebook, I share a link to something or share a thought and I see multiple friends sharing it even just minutes later. I’m not talking about the stuff we see shared in massive amounts like the flashmobs (or viruses), etc. I’m talking about something that I either posted or shared from some remote source.
It’s not that I’m stuck on myself. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. It does my heart good to see that someone out there gives a crap what I have to say and thinks it’s good enough to share with others. I often struggle to see how much influence I could have in people’s lives and it feels good to know I have the power to make a difference.
That’s the ripple part.
But with that fuzzy feeling comes an interesting responsibility. It seems like we need to realize that our words mean things, they have an effect and they can either empower or harm someone. You know how sometimes thoughts are like lightbulbs? Well sometimes revelations or ideas from others can be like a lightning bolt-a quick flash of light. We all know lightning is electric…so it’s both a powerful thing but a dangerous thing. (This is where the harness comes in, by the way).
It seems like we have the responsibility to remember who we might be influencing, who might be listening. And what of our thoughts and ideas they might be sharing with others.
This idea can be both positive and negative. I know it has kept me from venting as much as I want to on social media-or anywhere else for that matter. I don’t want to be a force of negative in someone’s life or be portrayed as a crazy person who doesn’t know how to handle real-life problems in an effective way.
On the other hand, how awesome is it that we have the ability to affect others simply by being ourselves? What an amazing gift we have as human beings to have technology that allows us to make an impact in the lives of others. But really, we’ve always had that power. Social media and other technology just gives us more immediate feedback. Whether it’s on social media or in real-life situations, we have the distinct ability to make the difference in the lives of others.
How will you harness the ripple today?