This year, I have the privilege to serve as the Social Media Coordinator for Indiana FFA. So, whenever you are annoyed with Indiana FFA’s tweets or posts, you’re welcome. However, it’s a responsibility that I’ve come to take quite seriously. Sometimes, too seriously as I will find myself spending hours reading articles about how to improve Indiana FFA’s social media outreach. Often, I will come across great pieces of advice. I discovered one awhile back that I found to be incredibly relevant in our modern world.
“Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate.”
This simple credo is something that I found but quickly passed over. It didn’t mean much at the time. But as I began scrolling through my personal Facebook feed, I was bombarded with everything from sports to puppy videos to politics. My mind returned to that quote about love vs. hate. Instead of seeing a kaleidoscope of random information, I began to see what people really cared about. Hate soon encompassed my screen—a passion driven slur at a politician, a passive aggressive dig at an unpopular law, and a vulgar statement about a group of people.
I began to really think about the words. “Promote what you love.” Okay. I can do that. I love agriculture, FFA, my teammates, my family, and of course, my beloved Whitley County. Then I began to think about what I hate. Well, I can’t say I outright hate anything. There are things that annoy me or things I would love to share my opinion on, but I had to ask myself, am I promoting what I love? Or bashing what I hate?
In today’s fast paced world of social media, we get so caught up on having an opinion on every issue and sharing that opinion for everyone to see. We begin to bash what we hate and thus, are consumed with that hate. Think for a second, what would the world look like if we began to only promote what we loved? How would our timelines look if people shared only the great and wonderful parts of life?
I think we would see a lot more puppy videos, some more appreciation posts, and a whole lot less of the things that divide us from each other. Instead of fighting over small things, we would come together over the big things. Instead of unfriending people, we would begin to connect as a community! This age of technology could connect us more than ever, but it seems to be separating us like never before.
Sometimes promoting what we love even means setting our phones down for a while. I have a particularly hard time with this. However, I realize the things I love are usually not on my phone, but sitting around me. I get one year to live with 6 crazy kids I get to call my teammates. Unfortunately, I get consumed by a glass screen. The best way to promote what you love is to simply set the phone down and realize those things you love aren’t necessarily on Twitter or Facebook.
From an individual who constantly has to squeeze important messages onto Twitter in 140 characters or less, here’s my challenge: “Promote what you love, don’t bash what you hate. Set the phone down sometimes. Share a puppy video and make someone smile today.”
2015 – 2016 Indiana FFA State Northern Region Vice President