Social Responsibility — A Visual Medium
January 4th, 2016 • Chicago, Illinois
Originally written on December 25th, 2015 in Boulder, Colorado
I have an overwhelming urge to talk about social responsibility.
I’m watching U2’s Innocence + Experience tour Live from Paris on HBO, and I find myself compelled to talk about social responsibility. Perhaps I’ve gotten too much Bono in me (I also saw the concert live in Denver earlier this year), but I can’t help but watch this concert and feel such an appreciation for this band.
Regardless of how you feel about U2 — they’ve used this tour, and their careers, to spread an overwhelming message of change, empowerment, anti-violence and love. (They’ve just started on Beautiful Day — one of my favorites. I may or may not be tearing up a bit). They’ve used their voice — their incredible reach and celebrity status — to send a positive message in to the world.
We can all learn from them.
We live in a world defined by a new type of celebrity — a social celebrity that values likes, comments, hearts, and re-tweets. The access and connection that social media has enacted is amazing, but also incredibly self-righteous without any sense of the greater community around us all.
Free speech and social responsibility are not the same. You have the legal right to one, and the option to choose the other.
As a filmmaker, producer, and someone who hopes to inspire a new generation of content creators — I can only hope that you’ll use your story-telling skills to take action and choose to be socially responsible.
I choose to. I will.
You have the power to reach thousands of people with a single post. Never before has the individual had this much opportunity to enact change with 140 characters. When you’re writing a script or making a YouTube video — you have the potential to inspire thousands of viewers. We often forget that we hold that power — it is not something to be taken lightly just because everyone has access.
There’s a lot of crap out there. There’s a lot of violence, murder, heartache, empty stories, passive posts and general bullshit. Don’t contribute to it. Challenge it.
Take time to write your tweets and emails and Facebook posts. I don’t care if you have 5 followers or 3 million; you have a responsibility, and the potential, to make a positive impact on the world.
Now more than ever, as a filmmaker, you are part of the most influential vessel for change — the visual medium. You have the free speech, the access, and the capacity to tell any story you want to — to potentially inspire others and encourage them not to merely see your vision, but to use your vision as a learning tool to empower their own lives.
Choose your stories wisely, content creators. That’s social responsibility.
Social responsibility is an ethical framework which suggests that an entity, be it an organization or individual, has an obligation to act for the benefit of society at large. Social responsibility is a duty every individual has to perform so as to maintain a balance between the economy and the ecosystems.