Social Media, Story Telling, and Joseph Kony

Infamy. It’s a powerful thing. Blend that with social media and you have one of the most influential and powerful tools in the world today.

The video produced by the non-profit Invisible Children, Inc. has, on the span of three days, gone viral on YouTube with more than 27 million views. It is a 30 minute documentary about the invisible children of Uganda and the devastation that one man has wreaked on a nation and that nations children. Joseph Kony has his army kidnap children from their homes and forces them to murder their parents, and other men, women and children.

The viral video and the mission of Invisible Children, Inc is simply to stop this warlord, a guerrilla leader that has turned on his own people for the sake of purification (sound like anything from our recent past?). These young film maker’s who experienced something catastrophic, came back and told us a devastating tale of human atrocities that we had hoped was in our past. The story of what has gone on in Uganda, Africa has spanned the better part of two decades, but it is now, with the proliferation of social media that they have the ability to make a world wide stand and bring light to such a dark issue. There is a sense of urgency with the group to end this by December 31, 2012. Why the urgency? The fear is that if the topic’s popularity and drive wanes, that the United States government will stop all efforts to aid that nation and Kony will rise again in power. The key to it s success will be the ability to find, capture and hold accountable Joseph Kony for his actions over the past 20 years.

Social media, when used the right way, can change the course of human history and make way for a better future and our children’s children. The filmmaker’s used their creativity and an experience that shook them to tell a story that the rest of the world can’t help but acknowledge. Fortunately, with our lives intimately connected through wires and cables, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds, info in an instant, and fast-paced lives we have the ability to not only spread the word like wild fire, but the capacity to affect change before more innocent people are sacrificed.
The video starts out, “nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come,” and how true that is. When a group of people get behind an idea, and namely, young people, there is nothing they cannot do. It is a powerful message of how social media coupled with a cause that ignites a passion from within can cause change.

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