With the popularity of social media, it is easy to get caught up in how you present yourself on the outside. It’s easy to make life look perfect when you slap a filter on it. And it is easy to compare yourself with others and forget that everything projected on social media is only a projection of what people want you to see. So rather than worrying about how you’re life looks on the outside, spend that time productively focusing on what truly makes you happy.
While there are many superficial aspects surrounding Instagram and social media, both are powerful ways to reach an enormous audience and spread awareness. I’ve gathered a cornucopia of accounts that are currently inspiring me. What I love about all of these accounts is that they don’t just present you with problems, but rather solutions and an outlet to get involved. They spread awareness in a positive and unique way. Check em’ out, stir up some awareness, donate if/when possible, and get ready to get inspired.
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Photo by @TimLaman on assignment for @NatGeo. It’s great to be back in the magical rain forest of Gunung Palung in Borneo. Working with fellow NatGeo explorer and filmmaker Trip Jennings (@TripJenningsVideo), here catching some sunbeams as he crosses the rope bridge at the Cabang Panti Research Site. We are here documenting orangutans and the conservation work of #saveGPorangutans in this important orangutan habitat. #orangutan, #Indonesia, #Borneo, #GunungPalung, #saveGPorangutans, #rainforest, @thephotosociety, @natgeocreative, @TimLaman.
National Geographic (@natgeo): “Life is an adventure—enjoy the ride and the world through the eyes of the National Geographic photographers.”
I learn something new about world cultures, animals, and the environment every day from the National Geographic Instagram feed. It brings attention to environmental causes, human rights issues, and endangered species while posting breathtaking images from remote locations around the world. But this feed not only spreads awareness to global issues, but also shows you what people and charities are doing to solve these problems.
Charity Water (@charitywater): “We’re bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in need around the world.”
Of all the charity Instagram’s I’ve checked out, Charity water is my favorite. Charity Water brings clean, safe drinking water to people around the world. Their Instagram does a great job of showing their incredible impact while also teaching you about the importance of clean water access. Their feed shows how your donations directly impact people’s lives.
If you don’t think this account is adorable, then I question whether or not you have a soul. Cute animals, funny captions, what more does an Instagram account need? The feed is also peppered with tips on how you can do your part to support their mission to protect wildlife and enjoy the great outdoors.
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Before this fundraiser, Fatima had exhausted her financial resources in the struggle against bonded labor to the point where she feared that she'd be unable to pay her own medical bills. Thanks to everyone who donated over the past 72 hours, she now has nearly $2 million to continue her organization's fight against bonded labor. (To fully visualize this impact, it should be realized that the purchasing power of a dollar in Pakistan is about 5x greater than in the United States.) This is an absolutely transformational amount of money. Fatima is meeting with the board of the BLLF to plan a major expansion of their efforts, and she wanted me to pass along this statement: "From BLLF and from all of the bonded labourers, thank you. Thank you to everyone who has opened their hearts and donated to our cause. I struggle to find the words, I don't think I have the words to tell you how grateful we are. You have donated for freedom, for rehabilitation and we are indebted. Thank you so much. The prayers of every labourer are with you and they will always hold you in their hearts. Our responsibility now is to honour what you have trusted us with, and we will. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we want to build a real freedom center in Lahore, here we can work on not just releasing families but rehabilitation. We want workers to be treated with the rights they deserve as citizens. Pakistan faces a lot of challenges, and we want industry to thrive in Pakistan, but the labourers must be free. You cannot make people work by beating and chaining them. I believe that the day the owners understand me, that the day the worker is happy, the profits will be greater. Labour rights need to be regulated, owners have the right to make profit but not through abuse, and deprivation. That is not an industry, that is slavery. This is a big step for labourers that this has received so much attention, and that their voices have reached a global stage and we are being heard. With this we hope to end bonded labour in Pakistan."
Humans of New York (@humansofny): “New York City, one story at a time.”
On this account, photographer Brandon Stanton captures photos of people on the streets of New York and asks them questions about themselves to generate a caption for the photo. Whether the stories are happy, sad, funny, or inspirational, it generates a sense of community and support that reminds you of the good in the world.
Although most pictures are taken in New York, Stanton’s recent trip to Pakistan has helped raised over $2 million for an activist who is trying to end slavery in the brick making industry. This is an issue prior to HONY, I knew nothing about. Check out this article to learn more about how HONY changes lives.
Happsters (@happsters): “to create, dream & spread happiness. Science of Happiness graduate.”
Need a pick me up? Check out the Happsters. This account is committed to spreading happiness, which is surely a worthwhile cause. This account posts inspirational quotes daily. I like to screenshot my favorites and save them for a rainy day. If you like my Monday Motivation posts, then this account will be right up your alley.
What inspiring accounts do you follow on Instagram? I love hearing about what inspires others so feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments section below.
Check out what I’ve been checkin’ out this week…
1. When you’re stuck in a day that’s gray and lonely, just stick up your chin and grin and watch this videooooo. I’m no doctor so I don’t know if there is a universal key to happiness, but this video is definitely inspiring.
2. Top 5 charities that support women according to Mrs. Gates. I was surprised to find a few I hadn’t heard of, but I’m definitely going to incorporate these into future posts.
3. Watch these Beagles react to freedom after spending their lives in laboratory cages. I didn’t even know beagles were used for lab testing and once you see their reaction to freedom, you realize they never should be. You can learn most about the Beagle Freedom Project here.
4. If you haven’t already gotten dressed today (March, 27th), make sure you put on some yellow to support this little boy who suffers from severe combined immunodeficiency. #WearYellowForSeth #Sethisadorable
5. Earlier this month Cyclone Pam wreaked havoc on the tiny island of Vanuatu. You can help aid the Red Cross and their efforts to help those suffering on the island by donating here. Help make the world a little better today.
Check out what I’ve been checkin’ out this week…
1. Like I said last week with the cat cafe, I love a cleaver solution to tough problems. Could tiny homes be part of the solution to homelessness?
2. Manatees are cute. This story is cute. If you don’t think so then I’m sorry to inform you, but you have no soul.
3. This video isn’t new, but it popped up randomly on my news feed this week and I think it was a sign that I needed to share it because its worth watching multiple times.
4. You have until January 31st to bring your old jeans to J. Crew to get $20 off on your next denim purchase. The donated jeans go to Blue Jean Go Green which uses the recycled denim to make building insulation, which is so cool.
Because Mondays are hard and sometimes we need a little inspiration…
Now that the holidays over, work schedules are resuming and calenders quickly filling up. But in all the business that life brings, remember to put out positive vibes. In return you’ll get a better outlook on your day. You get back what you give. Happy Monday!