For the first time ever, our freedom of speech is met with unprecedented access to audience. Turn on Facebook Live and you're speaking with hundreds of your peers. Post to YouTube and you've got access to millions across the world.
With our social media profiles and in our blogs and photographs and recordings, on our channels and feeds, what we have is a platform. We all have a platform. Maybe some of us don't deserve the platform we're given—I know I don't deserve mine.
I once tweeted, and it was retweeted by a celebrity, and Twitter analytics told me that it was viewed by over 100,000 people. That's a scary thing, a thing for which I'm undeserving and unequipped. I could never draw a crowd of 100,000 IRL, nor have I ever done anything to deserve to speak to a crowd like that.
To think that any one of us could say anything to all of us at once… It scares me. I talk a lot about how technology scares me, don't I? So what are you going to do with this access? What are you going to say from your platform?
Are you going to speak mindlessly, retweeting and reblogging endlessly, making some cloud of goofy stream-of-consciousness whatever in the name of "creating content?" Are you going to leverage your platform for surface causes that we can all agree on, while keeping silent about deeply-held beliefs you think might make you unpopular?
Will you censor yourself for fear of losing followers, or will you use your platform to take a stand for what you believe? to raise awareness? to invite debate and create conversation?
Could you bring a little light into a dark world? could you illuminate truth? could you use your words and actions to build someone up? could you show mercy when cruelty is getting ahead? could you speak intentionally, mindfully choosing every word?
Honor the platform you've been given.