One of the most wonderful things about social media tools like Twitter and Facebook is the ability to locate and connect with people who care about the same issues as you do – and try to do something about them.
The Twitterverse is loaded with great individuals and groups hoping to raise awareness and campaign on everything from human trafficking to health care, from sports teams draft choices to saving favorite television shows.
(Yes, #heroes fans, I’m getting there!!!)
Here’s just a sampling of my evergreen favorites:
- Women’s issues/rights: @safeworld4women, @thewip, @GlobalFundWomen and @Womens_eNews are just a few of the tweeters out there raising awareness on women’s issues
- Rare Disease: @GlobalGenes and @rarediseaseday are among those raising awareness about #raredisease and what families face in battling rare, debilitating conditions
- Autism Spectrum: @autismtoday and @AutismMomExpert are among hundreds campaigning for #autism awareness and acceptance
- HumanTrafficking: @27millionslaves and @TrafficInPeople are among those campaigning to end #humantrafficking
- Human Rights: @witnessorg , @EnoughProject, @AmnestyUK and @jonhutsun
At the moment, my personal favorite campaign is one being championed by Peter Llewellyn a.k.a. @Pete4L
It’s a campaign to make sure a great show – Heroes – stays on the air and that NBC commits to 100 episodes. The campaign day is this Saturday, March 6. Participation is easy. Heroes fans simply need to add the #heroes100 hashtag to their normal tweets and make sure it trends BIG. For more details on the campaign and its genesis click here.
Now I know that throwing my support publicly behind a television show might seem like a departure from my regular musings. And it is.
But here’s my defense: When I returned the States in 2004 after a decade’s absence my re-introduction to American television was, shall we say, bumpy. For a while it was mostly re-runs and CNN. Then a friend who was often at our house for dinner or just to hang out insisted on watching a little show called Flavor of Love – a pseudo-reality show featuring Flavor Flav looking for his bride (VH1’s version of The Bachelor I suppose).
After “flavor” and disappointment associated with American Idol, I swore off most television programming in favor of Blockbuster fare or CNN, until a friend insisted we check out Heroes. One DVD from Blockbuster and Heroes “had us at hello.”
The magic of Heroes lies in its constant exploration of the grey areas between good and bad, right and wrong. Characters constantly face choices – often hard choices that affect not only their lives, but others’ as well. For the most part, they are “normal” people in abnormal situations just doing the best they can.
Heroes is escapism – to be sure. But it’s also a thinking person’s show. A thorough and thought provoking dramatization of the truth that every individual within the global family has a chance to affect the world around them; that the simplest of actions can ripple across the world.
That speaks directly to my heart and the way I view the world.
So I say, in the immortal words of Hiro Nakamura: “Save the cheerleader, save the world!”