A healthy dose of FOMO

I’ve never been one to follow celebrities, and I’m not sure if I’ve ever watched an awards show all the way through. I even left my TV behind at my parent’s house this year. But J-school has  been telling me over and over again that Twitter is important, and I’m starting to get it.

Unfortunately there’s a side effect – FOMO, the fear of missing out. Oscars FOMO to be exact.

Twitter has a way of making Oscars viewers from all over the world look like a club oscarsthat I’m not a part of. People are tweeting and live blogging about it, and tomorrow people will be talking about it. More people, I believe, than would have talked about it had it not trended. It’s just like how I took to Twitter during the Superbowl.

Even though events like these are growing on me, and I may even catch them live next time, I’m more interested in how tweeting about events works on a smaller scale, how Twitter can bring attention to causes I’m passionate about.

I’ve gotten a glimpse of how that could be possible while writing for The Durham VOICE this semester. My last story was about DurhamCares, a nonprofit dedicated to mobilizing the people of Durham to serve their neighbors, and their current senior care campaign.

I noticed that my story got more traffic and social media shares than some of the others. This is because of Elizabeth Poindexter.

Elizabeth is the DurhamCares marketing coordinator (and a J-school grad!). She does an impressive job of getting the word out for partner nonprofits on social media. One of her previous campaign hashtags, #EducateDurham, trended #1 regionally, and her Twitter activity with #SeniorCare caught my attention and led me to the story.

It’s no Oscars, but it doesn’t need to be. It doesn’t need to catch the attention of the whole country (though that would be pretty cool); it just needs to catch Durham’s attention.

If nonprofits can utilize social media to get enough people talking about an issue at the same time, there’s an opportunity to make people curious, to make them want to join in the conversation and be in the loop. They may even experience a little bit of FOMO in their community. And if could FOMO lead to community education and even involvement, that wouldn’t be half bad.

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