The Social Media Kindness Project

The Social Media Kindness Project
by: Talin Orfali Ghazarian

Social media has become a big part in today’s society and some people use it for goodness, positive and inspiration, but others not so much. Some people tend to use social media in a negative and toxic way to spread hate, bullying, rudeness, and sending terrible comments to anyone. As previous generations have taught “If you have nothing nice to say or do, do not say or do anything at all”. That is the golden rule.

So, with that I have come up with the social media kindness project. You have no idea what someone is going through in their lives. It is always a good idea to be kind and use social media in empowering and positive ways. This is going to take a village to do. Social media needs a big makeover and we need to start somewhere.

I cannot believe that we have to teach people proper behavior and how to act these days, but we have to. It has become too much and has gone way out of hand. We are not perfect and we do mistakes, but being rude and unkind is not a mistake. It is a bad habit and we need to eliminate it as much as we can.

Social media should be a place where we can be free to post pictures, updates, videos, status updates, stories, ideas, opinions and suggestions. It should be used to get us out of our daily life and to unwind, have fun and share a bit of our lives, but not to the point where it can be misused.

Now, here are instructions of what we can do together to build a safer and happier community online:

  • If you see unkind, rude and horrible comments made by somebody in any group, pages, or to an individual person, report it to the social media outlet that it is found on, and then if you are able to, send that person a private message to teach them kindness and to point out what they did wrong in a civil way. Remember, we are trying to make a difference and be kind to unkind people, so that they can hopefully learn from their mistakes.
  • Vulgar language, inappropriate posts, swearing, threats and other profanity should have no place on social media, especially when shared with people of all ages from children to elderly. Respect each other and create a safe and enjoyable place for everyone.
  • If you see bullying happen, someone being made fun of, being humiliated and ridiculed, step up, report it, take screenshots, record everything, time, date and names involved in the bullying and then find out who you can send the information to. If the situation becomes to the point where authorities need to be contacted, please do. Silence is not the answer. It could save lives, it could prevent from further escalation of the situation.
  • We are all entitled to our opinions and how we feel, but there are all kinds of personalities and people in all walks of life online and we need to be general as can be, and we cannot discriminate. There needs to be 0 tolerance in racism, making fun of someone’s color, orientation, religion, beliefs and how they live their lives. We are all human and deserve love, respect and being treated equal, and fairly.
  • Everybody needs a friend, we all need to feel included, to feel welcome, and be amongst people who care, who needs good advice, love, and being in diversity with all kinds of people. We need to give people positive empowerment.
  • Some people have lived in a toxic lifestyle with nothing but negativity and bad days in their lives, and we need to make sure that these people can be in a place in their lives where they can count on us and it is important to mean it to make them feel better, to take them out of that negativity to be there for them in great ways, to mentor them and to let them know they are not alone and they can come to us at anytime.
  • Social media is open 24/7 365 days a year and there are people in every time zone, It will be amazing and so incredibly beautiful to see social media blossom like flowers to see a fun place for us all to enjoy, be safe and to use it wisely.

This is not some kind of chain letter or those copy and paste posts. This is authentic and very real. This project is very important. I have seen so much as a person who has used social media, since it began before the MySpace days, Asian Avenue and all that. It has been a long time. I have seen a lot of rude and unkind people online and it is very disturbing. We need to combat and make a difference in people’s lives. So important.

What do you think should be done? What are your opinions or suggestions or other measures we can take to get this project underway? Would love to hear from you in the comments below.

This Kindness project will help billions of lives online, and it will make this world a better and safer place. Let’s do this, and let’s start to get things back on track. Now, are you with me on this?

I cannot do this without you. I would appreciate it. Thank you.

The Armenian Church Youth Organization of Canada (ACYOC)

The Armenian Church Youth Organization of Canada (ACYOC)
By: Talin Orfali Ghazarian

The Armenian Church Youth Organization of Canada (ACYOC) was established in 1984. In the diaspora where Armenians are situated outside of Armenia. As Armenians began to establish themselves in Canada, it became an important and integral part to develop a sense of community and belonging.

ACYOC brought Armenian youth and young adults together to create life-long friendships, to establish committees, conduct meetings, create events in both a social and spiritual aspect for All to enjoy and participate in. The main events of a course of a year are sports weekends, banquets, palm Sunday luncheon, camping trips, retreats and meetings held in different provinces with the presence of clergy. We also conducted other events throughout the year as well. We also went to the United States to have weekend retreats in Chicago, New York and other areas and to make friends with ACYOA Members Armenian Church Youth Organization of America.

From West Coast to the East Coast, we have chapters from Vancouver, Edmonton/Calgary, Toronto, Mississauga, Golden Horseshoe, St. Catharines, Montreal and Laval. The main headquarters for ACYOC was in Montreal at St. Gregory The Illuminator Church.

Our life-long friendships are still blossoming to this day. We often think about all the great times and memories from events, meetings and everything else in between. Some met each other, became couples and got married. It is evident that ACYOC became a positive and happy organization to strengthen bonds and preserve our community. People ages from 14-35 participated in events and also some joined committees. There were two groups. Jr. and Sr. ACYOC committees. To this day we still talk about our memories.

As an ACYOC committee member when I was communications director, writer, keeping track of meetings, advertising events, creating event flyers, emailing and also being a Chairperson for a time which was incredibly amazing. I got to travel to Vancouver, Montreal, Laval, Mississauga for events and gatherings and we used to have meetings in Kingston, Ontario which is half way between Toronto and Montreal. Created many fond memories, and I still have all the pictures from all our events.

You can say that I am very sentimental and keep these memories in my heart and life as it was a big portion of it as a teenager and well into my 20’s. In recent years, we lost touch with ACYOC, but definitely not with each other. That was solely because a lot of people moved onto creating families of their own and some moved away.

I joined ACYOC in 2002/2003 and I was in the committee every year until 2010/2011. They were the best and memorable years. I remember it was my birthday weekend and we had a meeting in Kingston, Ontario, so our whole group took me to Montreal to celebrate and met up with our friends in Montreal for an awesome weekend. I’ll never forget that. Awesome memories that I still remember like it was yesterday. So you can say I have had a lot of experience.

I have been thinking about ACYOC quite a lot more these days is because I want to jump start it again, create committees, look for enthusiastic Armenian youth and young adults across Canada in our chapters to give the new generation a chance to participate and find joy, life-long friendships as we did. It is very important to me.

Back then, social media had just begun. I remember sending emails out and starting groups to make it easier for Armenians to find us and see who we are. Hopefully in the coming months we will reintroduce ACYOC once again and I will be there to assist and to give guidance and share my experiences with this generation.

I am very excited to be working hard to make this a vibrant community once again. Are you in? I am! Let’s do this!