Dr. Martin Luther King’s Social Media Dream

 7 of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Quotes

The great civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968), would have embraced social media for providing a megaphone for those without a voice.

As participants on a variety of social media platforms we have a right and a responsibility to live up to Dr. King’s words.

On social media as in life, we are responsible for those who can’t speak up for themselves regardless of their beliefs. This holds true for both individuals and businesses that participate on these venues.

Here are seven of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s quotes uttered to help gain civil rights for African Americans. They still apply to social media as we use it today.

  1. “Seeing is not always believing.” Especially in today’s Instagram world where you can modify and enhance any image, this is true. In a broader sense it applies to hiding behind a false avatar or intentionally misleading people on social media. While what you see may be elusive or misguided, you need to be able to discern the truth. Actionable Social Media Tip: Social media requires that you’re truthful across platforms, not just putting up a veneer. This is the human voice that resonates across social media.
  2. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”. Social media is about more than games and updates about friends. It’s a place to reach out and connect with others. Actionable Social Media Tip: Through your social media interactions, it’s important to be truthful and transparent and to stand up for what you believe in. Social media isn’t a tool just to extend your socializing but rather for gathering a broader audience of like-minded people and persuading them to do the right thing. Social Media has a social responsibility.
  3. “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends”. It’s important to stand up for important issues and to support those involved in them. This is particularly true when our family, friends and social media colleagues have challenges. We have a responsibility to help those who need our help. Actionable Social Media Tip: Social media enables each of us to reach out across wide distances to support important causes and let our voices be heard. It’s not acceptable to remain quiet when there’s injustice around us.
  4. “A lie cannot live.” We have a responsibility to use social media to uncover the truth and prevent lies from parading as the truth. Actionable Social Media Tip: With today’s social media tools, everyone has the ability to write an article or comments in support or take images to get our point across or allow a smartphone to capture a politician’s misguided words.
  5. “Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.” Transparency is at the core of social media. You must be open about who you are. Actionable Social Media Tip: You must understand that the collective good is more important than the work of any one individual. Together we can get rid of the shadows and make the world a more open place.
  6. “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” Dr. King’s words strike at the heart of social media that is about paying it forward to help others without expecting anything in return. Social media is greater than any one participant; it’s about the collective whole. Actionable Social Media Tip: Remember that social media isn’t about building your influence as an end in itself but rather as a means to help others. This means providing useful information and helping causes that are bigger than your own personal needs.
  7. “The time is always right to do what is right.” Each of us has a responsibility to do the right thing. Social media enables us to reach out and give a voice to others who may not be able to help themselves. Actionable Social Media Tip: Don’t just wait for others to speak out and stand up for what’s right. It takes a community and it’s important to do your part.

Just as Dr. King tried to show the world a better way to live together in harmony, we must use social media as a way to help those around us to continue to make the world a better place.

Here are another seven quotes from Dr. King and their social media lessons. Are there any quotes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that resonate with you? What are their social media implications?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen


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To learn more about Dr. King, please check out the King Center for Non-violent Social Change.

Here are some related articles of interest.

Photo Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Martin-Luther-King-1964-leaning-on-a-lectern.jpg

 

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  • Jay H.

    Heidi,

    This is a really neat and relevant way of connecting Dr. King’s teachings with current social media. For me, the biggest takeaway is the quote and point you make in number two. Often times, people get frustrated when someone expresses an opinion on a touchy subject via social media, such as politics. I believe there is certainly a respectful way to share, and people choose to cross that line frequently, but there have been several instances where I have seen friends on Facebook get brutalized for making completely unoffensive, objective comments that are relevant to what is happening in the world. I myself tend to stay off of touchy subjects for this exact reason, but if we are unable to share our opinions via social media and spark thinking and useful debate, then what is the point of being able to share anything? It is much less obtrusive to share a funny video than it is to share a personal belief, but it should be just as acceptable in my opinion. Thank you for this post!

  • hcouch

    One of my other favorite quotes from MLK was “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” I believe other social media users should learn from this one as well. There is so much hate and bullying taking place through social media, and these words from MLK definitely speak out against it. Thank you for sharing all of these other wonderful quotes from such an inspiring leader and how we can apply them to our work and personal actions on social media!