Is it possible that social media can be a force for good?

We’re all familiar with the bad aspects of social media. Can we really use it to make our lives better?

Lauren Hug, J.D., LL.M. believes we can.
In fact she’s proved it.
Lauren is a speaker on the Upsides of Our Digital World, and a Community-Building, Engagement, & Participation Strategist. She also has a successful Substack Newsletter and has been exploring how to collectively use social media to advance collaboration and community.

Her books Digital Grace and Digital Kindness have transformed the way people behave on-line with the message, “Share the world you want to see”, providing a powerful counterpoint to the outrage many people experience on digital platforms.

Lauren writes about Digital Hope on Substack. Find out more at

We invited Lauren to join us to discuss how social media can open windows into the lives of people we might not ever meet through other means, and how we can use it better understand and empathize with those who have different views to our own.

This is Lauren’s introduction to the discussion.

In breakout rooms our members discussed how they could “Share the World They Want to See” and not just use social media for marketing.

This passage from Lauren’s latest newsletter sums it all up beautifully:

Much of my writing and speaking focuses on using social media to see others — those we’d likely never encounter in our physical spaces … and those communicating thoughts and aspects of themselves in digital spaces that they don’t always feel able to share in person.

By deliberately choosing to see others, social media can help us identify spaces and issues we have the power not to worry about or know about. When we find ourselves wondering why someone feels the need to post about something that isn’t important to us or that we think doesn’t belong in digital spaces, it’s a signal to ask ourselves whether our reaction is because it’s an issue we simply haven’t had to think about.

As my daughter replied when I rhetorically asked why a product that seemed pointless to me existed: “If you don’t know what it’s for, it wasn’t meant for you. It’s an accessibility thing you don’t need, but someone else does.” She succinctly reminded me to be curious when I encounter something that doesn’t make sense to me, rather than hastily making judgments based solely on my own perspective and experience.

On the flip side, sharing our experiences can help others become more aware of their positions of power. We can show people things they never had to think about, influencing the way they see the world by adding our stories to the online catalog of human experiences.

This is how we learn, grow, and build a better world together: by choosing to see the things we don’t have to and carrying our evolving awareness into everything we do.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” -Maya Angelou

What is something social media made you aware of that you now choose to think about even though you don’t have to?

What is something you have no choice but to think about that you use (or can use) social media to share with others?

You can find Lauren’s newsletter – and answer these questions at

Connect with Lauren on LinkedIn and at HugSpeak
Buy the books Digital Hope and Digital Kindness and follow Lauren’s author page on Amazon

If you’re a member of Drive, the Collaborative Network, you can talk to Lauren in our Slack Group.