Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The New Face of Society

Brother, can you spare a dime was the cry of the thirties from a society depressed by the economy. Skid Row became a place to seek shelter for a night and stand in line for hours for soup and bread.

Today we find an economy with a new cry. Families are sleeping in their cars and motorhomes are standing in the parking lots of Wal-mart. Food banks are filling orders beyond their capacity and free clinics have lines around the block for health care. And the cry for help shouts out from Twitter.

From Google News comes a story about Brianna Karp, a young woman who had a great job one day and found herself unemployed and scrambling for a place to live. Not an unusual story these days, except that she found a way to shed light in her very dark tunnel.

Brianna turned her nightmare into a 21st century fairytale when she began blogging about her homeless experience. She bought $5 coffee cards from Starbucks to use the Wi-Fi to send out resumes and blog. She was surprised by the number of people that were using social media to change their situation.

Her tweet promoting her writing read "Tips for surviving homelessness. You may be homeless, but you do not need to be a bum!" Her blog at was a way to reach out and hang on. Then she ran across a casting call for a reality show but nerves resulted in a dismal audition.

On a lark, she emailed hoping to get another shot. The question "how does one get another shot when one screws up a job interview?" went on and in the August edition of Elle magazine. The response "Miss Homeless, my dear: You don't 'get' another shot. You take it."

Brianna took the shot and was offered a telecommuting internship for four months with Elle magazine. Carroll, from the magazine, explained "You knocked me out with your courage and spirit."

Social media is changing the face of society for the better. Texting and tweeting for change is what a wise grandma would do.

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