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Chirps From the Nest: How to Use the Internet

Chirps from the Nest 200Sometimes we hear a song or watch a video that inspires us, and sometimes we watch a movie that makes us want to change the world. Sometimes, this happens more than once in a week and takes your life by storm. This past weekend was fall break for Ball State and that was the perfect opportunity for me to browse my Netflix and YouTube to watch things other than the fox video (although that is still admittedly a weak spot for me).

The first thing I stumbled across was another wonderful Kid President video. If you haven’t heard of Kid President, YouTube the shit out of him. You won’t be disappointed. Through his quirky kid humor and innocence, he inspires people to make the world a better place. Watch his latest video and movement, #Socktober.

So my next question is, what are we actually using the Internet for? What led you to read this post? Are you a die-hard Ball State fan looking in every outlet to brush up on your football stats and trash talking? Were you wasting time on Facebook or Twitter instead of whatever work you were supposed to be working on? I’m not complaining that you’re reading this, but what can we learn from the Internet so that it is not purely for entertainment?

Kid President really speaks to this in his Socktober movement. Instead of wasting time by watching Miley Cyrus videos (okay, we can do that sometimes), why don’t we help the less fortunate? Use the Internet to find an organization that you feel passionate about and help them. If we can make it happen, let’s do some good for those in need.

One of my childhood Christmas traditions was going to the Dollar General with my mom and little sister to pick out presents and basic items needed to live, and then driving them to the local women and children’s shelter. It was always fun to pick out the cutest robe or slippers for the little girls, but I never really understood what that meant. I knew these women and children came from abusive homes and were in the shelter for their own protection, but it never occurred to me that while I come home and have the dilemma of which pair of slippers to put on, these ladies might not even have one pair to warm their feet.

As if Kid President didn’t flood me with enough feelings about helping those in need, I then stumbled across the movie Unconditional. The film is a Christian drama inspired by the true stories of Joe Bradford, who grew up in a rural area of Tennessee. When he developed kidney disease, Joe and his wife Denise were forced to move to a low-income area of Nashville. When they arrived, they were confronted by the needs of the underprivileged children in their neighborhood. Joe and Denise began to reach out to them and many of the fatherless children embraced Joe, who became known as “Papa Joe.” The movie also follows the story of Samantha Crawford. When her husband Billy is tragically killed, Sam loses her faith and will to live. A death-defying encounter with two children leads to a reunion with Joe, her oldest friend. As Sam watches Papa Joe care for and love the kids in his under-resourced neighborhood, she begins to believe that the love of God is always reaching out to her.

Now whether or not you believe in God, Unconditional depicts the reality that is life in the projects. Committing crime in order to survive begins in childhood. Education opportunities are at an all-time low. The comforts of life and technologies as we know them don’t really exist for these people in extremely low-income housing. I think this ties directly with what Kid President is saying, too.

It’s time we use the Internet to make the world a better place. Instead of sharing a picture on Instagram of what you had for lunch (guilty as charged), share a picture to raise awareness for an issue in this world and/or for an organization trying to make a difference. If you don’t have the financial means to donate to an organization, at least spread the message of the group to your Facebook friends or Twitter followers as surely somebody will feel inclined to donate. The holiday season is right around the corner and what better time to start thinking about those in need? Let’s use the Internet to make this old world a better place to live in.

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