Category Archives: Social Media

Social Media, Disabilities and You

CATEGORIES: Community Life, Technology

By Guest Blogger Megan Totka, Chief Editor, ChamberofCommerce.com

Living with any disability can feel pretty isolating at times. The world does not seem built for people with physical or emotional disabilities; it can also feel like even the people who care about you the most simply do not understand your day-to-day struggles. Thanks to advanced social media technology, however, living with a disability can feel less lonely.

Social media can be an effective way for anyone to socialize and network for a career, but can be especially powerful for people with disabilities. If you think that social media is simply a way to waste time, you should rethink your stance. For people with disabilities, social media can be especially helpful with:

Brand building. Around 15 percent of people with disabilities in the workforce are self-employed, compared with only 10 percent of the rest of the workforce. Small business owners can make the most of social media to highlight their products and services and marketing on these platforms is inexpensive or free. Even if you work for someone else, having a social media presence is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your field which will help your career long term.

Self-information. By following reputable blogs and websites through social media, you always have access to the latest news about the things that interest you. This is also a great way to keep up on your industry and any legislation or news that pertains to living with a disability. You can stay schooled in what matters to you and have all the information in one central spot.

Like-minded networking. Perhaps you are the only person in your circle of family and friends that lives with a disability, or one of a very few. There are online groups and forums where you can talk about your health and seek advice and camaraderie from people who really do understand. You may find that your closest allies are people who you have never actually “met,” but become part of your journey with a disability.

Disability awareness. Using social media is also an excellent opportunity to spread awareness about the issues people with disabilities face on a daily basis. Through the normal course of social media activity, you can shed some light on what life is like with a disability and helpful resources. This does not have to mean constant activism or bold statements every time you log on. You can raise awareness in the form of everyday photos, status updates or even the links that you share from others. Family, friends and acquaintances can learn a little more about what life is like with a disability through your social media posts.

Smart use of social media also is a great way to network professionally and personally. Don’t be intimidated by the world of online socialization; look for ways to better your life through its use. Jump right in and find ways for social media to empower you, whether directly related to your disability or not.

How about you? What is your favorite way to network online?

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.

Hacking Attention: Media, Technology and Crisis

Social media could be a powerful tool to unite people with disabilities, especially when dealing with the fall-out of a catastrophic injury or illness.

Josh Stearns

On Monday at 5pm I’ll be moderating a session at SXSW that explores the way journalists, civic hackers, and local communities are using new technology and social networks to respond to crisis and conflict. What follows is a preview of some of the issues we’ll be grappling with.

What is your attention worth? Online publishers, advertisers and social networks are putting a price on your attention every day. The entire web metrics industry is built on the economy of attention – impressions, clicks, visits, time on site, RTs, likes, shares. These are the atomic elements of attention.

But there are also people who are working to hack attention, to use new networks, new connections and new tools to drive our hearts and minds towards the most important stories of our time. The hope is not that we can turn attention into dollars, but that we can turn attention into action.

Today…

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103 People Unfriended Her, How Many Would Do the Same to Me

Blog Woman!!! - Life Uncategorized

freshly-pressed-rectangleI came across a Huffington post about a woman who posted pictures of herself on her Facebook wall that caused a collapse in her social circle.  The headline said “When Beth Posted These Images on Facebook, 103 People Unfriended Her”.   

The headline effectively grabbed my attention, but what the story really did was zero in on the heart of one of my own deepest fears.  It cut to a deep vulnerability that even I don’t fully understand, but it’s one that has held me back from engaging as fully in life as I possibly could.  I can’t do that until I can somehow get to a place of true peace about it.

Canvas ScarsThe pictures that Beth Whaanga, the woman in the Huffington piece, posted were semi-nude images of herself featuring her scars from a double mastectomy and a hysterectomy.  They were taken by a photographer leading a project called,

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