BY HARNOOR GILL
Grade 11 student
Christ The King Catholic Secondary
IN today’s world, it’s so easy for us to contact each other through the means of social media whether it is to shoot a text to someone, sub tweeting on twitter to someone or just dm’ing someone on facebook. It’s funny how terms like these have become an integral part of the modern English language because of how common these things have become. Imagine if we used these forms of communication more to our advantage than ever by creating positive change in our communities or by simply getting our youth involved with youth-led projects. Let’s stop imagining and take action, so hold on to your seat and make sure your seat belt is on for the ride of your lifetime in positive change!
As of November 3, I got the chance to speak at the headquarters of Facebook to youth of my age along with other very well recognized guest speakers as well. It was a great experience for me as I got to speak to youth that were from my age group. I was pleased with the turnout as well because I didn’t think that I would be able to tell my story to youth my age as it was a school day. Anyway, I had a great time talking about how Facebook played a positive role in my life with my initiative of Peace Welcome Club.
Along with my little speech about Peace Welcome Club I also mentioned how without any funding, Facebook helped to initiate many of our events. Not to be biased or anything, it always seemed like Facebook was the easiest to start a positive change by being able to create a sole Facebook page for a huge initiative like this. Other platforms didn’t seem to offer the ease of creating a page dedicated to an initiative and I think that’s what attracted me to Facebook the most.
There were also other great speakers that were present alongside with me such as Rob Dyer with the initiative of Skate 4 Cancer (S4C), Isabel Carlin from University of Toronto who talked about sexual health, Brennan Wong from Pledge for a Change as well as a group of high school girls from Winnipeg that started an initiative called Save our Minds. I personally really enjoyed seeing how youth with similar ideas as me were allowed to share their experiences of positive change by using social media as a driving force for a cause. It’s interesting to see how something as small as raising awareness on an issue can be brought forth to so many people’s attentions.
After the guest speakers had spoken, the audience was allowed to go and explore different workshops for different needs. I really enjoyed being able to know the different aspects of Tumblr or even finding out how fast #alexfromtarget was trending across the world on the platform of Twitter. It’s neat to see the things that we take for granted such as bold, italics or strikethrough text that actually happen to have certain coding names in their html that are typed into it.
I really enjoyed how their headquarters is right in the hub or heart of the city of Toronto. The view from the Facebook office is amazing. I even got to sign the Facebook “Wall” and leave a memory of myself for anyone that ever passes by to notice that I wrote or signed my group of Peace Welcome Club there. What I really enjoyed the most was receiving all this merchandise such as a Facebook T-shirt and Facebook stress ball because everyone knows that high school is extremely stressful.
All in all, I thought it was an amazing turnout for an event on Monday morning where youth were the projected audience and I also enjoyed how Media Smarts utilized the use of Facebook’s Headquarters as the venue for the event.