In the course of a day I see hundreds of stories flow through my Twitter feed. Some bring me up, some bring me down…and some make me stop what I’m doing and sit there for a minute, teetering on emotions invoked by the power of words and video, brought to me through social media.
In the age of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, individuals with a powerful story can reach around the world like never before. We see it with funny stories, we see it with weird stories, we see it with cute stories…and we see it with sad stories. The science of viral videos is fuzzy for sure, however these types of emotional reactions typically indicate the type of story that has the potential to reach further than ever expected.
This story is about Rachel, a 9 year old girl, who had an amazing wish beyond her years. She wanted to raise $300 for her wish, though fell a bit short of her goal. That didn’t get her down though. She simply said she’d do better the next year. Tragically, she died only a month later in an accident. Rachel’s story went out around the world and people donated more than $1.2 million toward her goal.
Our communication channels, with social media now pushing the envelope of possibilities in spreading stories efficiently and beyond anything we could have ever imagined, sometimes get bogged down by fiscal cliffs, snarky comments, etc., but these stories that reach high above the fray, restore my faith in the medium, as a positive force for which we’ve yet to fully understand.