Amidst recent tragedies, hardships, and heartbreaks, one thing is for certain: humans are using social media to rally. Rally to raise awareness, to help, to support, to donate. A recent article on how to Donate Food To Oklahoma Tornado Victims With A Tweet really illustrates just how powerful social media tools can be in allowing people to turn their desire to help into real life action with just a click of a button. There are numerous articles popping up about how folks can use social media for crisis management: how to locate missing persons, how to let your loved ones know that you’re okay, how to locate the nearest safe shelter, how to access organizations that are set up to provide basic needs.
Something that continually amazes us is how complete strangers become ‘virtual’ shoulders to cry on for those reaching out for support via social media sites. An Instagrammer posted one of the photos below, with text that read, “Our house is fine for now, but the weather is still crazy and the power is out. My sister and I are home alone and are really scared!” Now, naysayers may say, ‘Nay! Who knows who is really behind that digital screen! She could be anyone, she could be lying!’ But, really, folks… is that what it’s all about? We’ve all seen people do insane things for attention, like all the fake Twitter accounts that popped up around the Boston Marathon bombing. This behavior seems all the more confusing and unforgivable when it’s centered around an incident that is absolutely tragic and people are still reeling from it. But the outpouring of support that said Instagrammer received is inspiring and uplifting. People are rallying in any way they can.
Something else we’re pondering: instead of battle crying, “This tragedy teaches us to live every day like it’s our last!” and then going right back to life-as-it-was two days later, these outpourings of support live online, in writing, and can be daily reminders of why it’s important to not wait for a tragedy to embrace each day; why it’s important to not wait for a tragedy to take the time to reach out to someone who needs help, in some way; why it’s important to be gentle and supportive with yourself and your fellow humans, to not embrace the recklessness that can come with a live every day like it’s your last mentality but to make your efforts purposeful and meaningful and intentional and personal.
The following images were created by various artists and posted to Instagram. We were inspired to share them with you here, as a collection. Together, they serve as a visual, heartfelt tribute to those who are struggling and keeping their heads up in Oklahoma.
Click on the following images (from Instagram) for additional information on ways to help: