The Positive Power of Social Media
If you've looked at your Facebook feed lately, it's possible you've seen an ugly side of social media.
It's sometimes hard to ignore the divide that can be created when current news stirs up debate among the masses, emotions fly and the only noticeable filters are the ones utilized on Instagram.
But every once in a while, the powers of social media are used for good and the results restore one's faith in humanity.
That's exactly what happened to me two weeks ago when it was discovered someone had entered my car, stolen my handbag and emptied its contents behind a woman's home in Sherman Hill.
Upon discovering my bag, Taelor May Beeck was scared first and foremost for my safety (the handle had been broken and she was terrified of a perceived struggle). With the desire to return the items to the original owner, she looked to the power of social media to track me down using only Facebook and my full name, which she had found on a Nordstrom credit card that had fallen into a side pocket. Here is her original post:
More than 30 of Taelor's good samaritan friends joined the hunt, commenting with advice and tagging people who may know me. Within 25 minutes, Taelor and I were connected through Facebook, the bag was returned to me and we were new #bffs for life.
You may remember Taelor. She's the viral sensation from Zombie Burger + Drink Lab who was left a rude insult in lieu of a tip amount on a check by a guest due to her alleged #notnormal (read: atypically beautiful) appearance. #pinkhairdontcare
But it didn't get her down. And the Web rallied in her defense.
The Des Moines Register quoted her saying she "was presented with a bad situation and the responses from friends and perfect strangers helped me turn it into a good one.“ She decided to "promote positivity and remind everyone that even though there are toxic people in the world, if we radiate light, light will come back.” (Read the story here: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/…/taelor-may-bee…/82113748/.)
A week after returning my bag, KCCI Channel 8's Eric Hanson picked up the story for a news feature. The good news of Taelor's desire to promote positive energy in Greater Des Moines was spreading like wildfire. And it was through the help of social media that a negative and scary situation was turned into one of grace and kindness.
I recently received an email from Blank Children's Hospital requesting me to spread the word on their second annual online Day of Giving, which takes place tomorrow. The premise behind the event is to carry out simple acts of kindness during the month of July to celebrate A.H. Blank, a man who dedicated his life to giving back to Des Moines.
I would like to publicly thank Taelor for her kindness and her unwavering commitment to #BeLikeMrBlank. We could use more individuals like you in our community. Thank you for being a person of substance, character and love. Mr. Blank would have been proud of you!
If you would like to participate in this month-long event, there is more information here: https://www.unitypoint.org/blankchildrens/article.aspx…