Changing the World for the Better with Personal Technology

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As technology whizzes by us at a record-breaking pace, parents are trying feverishly to keep their heads above water. When speaking at schools and conventions across the country, many parents are panicked by how quickly technology is changing and express major concerns when it comes to their kids utilizing these tools at a seemingly unmanageable pace. While I do think it’s important to be honest about potential dangers, I think it’s equally important to show parents (and kids) how technology is changing our lives for the better, and urge them to recognize how wonderfully powerful technology can be.

There is currently no better example of this than the one that has most recently swept our entire nation, news, and newsfeeds than the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. After hearing about the Ice Bucket Challenge from a friend, Pete Frates(who had been diagnosed with ALS in March of 2012 and vowed to make a difference in the ALS community) decided to kick this movement in high gear to raise awareness and funds for this incurable, horrible, underfunded disease.

He took to social media using the hashtag #ALSIceBucketChallenge and #StrikeOutALS urging people to accept the challenge to help spread the word about ALS, and encourage more research and funding by donating. This movement started this past July, and in a month, helped to raise over $100 million for ALS research. By using the powerful tools social media offers us, celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Gates accepted the challenge, posting powerful (and fun) videos online to help spread the word. Entire sports teams posted videos to social media sites accepting the challenge, and families and people across the world joined in to make this one of the biggest social media movements of our time.

It’s mind-blowing to see how a simple hashtag and fun, viral movement could bring this much awareness and funding to a disease that will undoubtedly be forever changed as a result.

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Gale Boyd is the managing editor for She is a Jewish convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and has lived all over the world. She has raised 6 Third Culture Kids and is always homesick for somewhere.