Spreading the Wanderlust Word

Social media is a powerful communicative tool, with different platforms in many different areas. For instance, Snapchat is used for quick photo sharing, twitter- for quick thoughts and updates, Instagram- for permanent photo sharing, and Facebook- for all of those things put together. There are a plethora of social media platforms that can be used for all different reasons.


These platforms are especially useful for people who have a desire to travel to different places. Snapchat is extremely helpful because in their Discover section, they have several different types of articles. Amongst those articles users are often able to find commentary that pertains to travel and activity in those places like hiking, beaches, shopping, food, and several other things that pertain to those cultures. When sending friends and family snaps or posting things to a “snap story”, people have the ability to use geotags which show the location of the picture or the 10 second video.

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Instagram is another tool that is utilized for photo and short video sharing. As opposed to Snapchat, Instagram is more permanent. Posts are there forever, unless the post or account is deleted. This platform has cool editing feature that can enhance photos, and allows people to post videos up to 60 seconds long. From a traveler’s perspective, Instagram is a great tool because they can tag the location of their content and create captions. It’s very interactive with followers because people can comment on your content and you can reply to them with a like or comment. This helps people who are interested in going places because of Instagram’s easy search tab. Travelers can look up hashtags of places, locations, foods, etc. They can type in specifically what they are looking for and they are bound to find something relative to their search. For instance, if someone is interested in Morocco, they can hashtag Morocco and see the different things that come up.


Youtube is another great platform that allows people to share much longer video content. On this site, people can create videos that document their entire vacation. Videos can have layers of music and pictures turned into a collage. It could also be a video montage of all the different activities the person did on their travels.

Twitter and Facebook are other useful platforms that are excellent for video and picture sharing, but are also good for information sharing. For travelers, this is beneficial because they can get similar photo experiences like they do from other social media platforms and information in addition to it. For example, a person can follow a touring company’s Facebook or Twitter to see updates about promotions, new excursions, and  any other information the company were to post. It makes it easier for people to see this information because the user doesn’t have to go through search engines or other third parties to find information. These two platforms also have direct messaging which a lot of companies utilize. It is a lot quicker than emailing a company and having to wait for a response, as most companies will have employees responding to direct messages pretty quickly throughout the day.

All of these platforms give travelers a preview of their next destination. This previewed content makes their travel easier, so that they can pick the places that they want to go to and plan it out. Not only do all these social media platforms benefit people looking to travel, but it benefits the expert travelers who want to share their experiences and work with the world. For some, social media can turn into a career where users get paid for the professional content they post. These people are often called “influencers”.

Social media has made communication and sharing significantly easier. In a way, all these platforms are digital journals. They tell stories. Here in Barcelona, I am embarking on my own travel endeavors. I decided to create an Instagram account dedicated to my travels where I will post as often as I want. As a traveler, I find this platform useful for my own entertainment and in a sharing sense. Creating a new Instagram account allowed me to keep it open to the public, and provide a place for my family and friends to see my journeys.



Platforms of Hope

If you are reading this blog, then I am sure you are no stranger to the concept of social media. In the past 10 years, social media has evolved to a revolutionary tool that people use for various different reasons. One organization in particular, JAR of Hope, utilized social media to spread the word about their cause.


JAR (representing the young boy James Raffone’s initials) of Hope, is a charity organization dedicated to funding research for a cure to the detrimental disease Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy. It is a disease that promotes muscular degeneration and weakens the body. It is one of the 9 types of muscular dystrophies that are known today. There are medications that can slow down the muscular degeneration, but for all 9 forms- there is no cure.

JAR of Hope Facebook

JAR of Hope Twitter

Facebook has been the organization’s biggest platform to gain notoriety. JAR of Hope started in a man’s home, with the desire and will to do anything in his power to help his son live a longer life. A GoFundMe page, a site where people can donate money to a certain cause, was created and shared on Facebook. The touching story behind JAR of Hope about a man, his family, and his son, opened up the hearts and wallets of thousands of people. Had it not been for Facebook, JAR of Hope wouldn’t have been able to spread the word.

Social media platforms have proven to be the biggest help in JAR of Hope’s journey. There is an extremely controversial drug that had been debated over for a very long time to try and treat Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. For the families, this drug is a risk they are willing to take. JAR of Hope played a huge role in getting this drug recently approved in September of 2016. They utilized social media to spread the word, taking part in events and sharing it online. They attracted news companies, celebrities, families,  strangers, and friends. Petitions were signed online for the support in passing the drug. JAR of Hope held activities that would engage the public and spread awareness. In the hometown where the organization started, Manalapan, NJ- JAR of Hope held a push up challenge at the recreation center that would attempt to break the world record, and then proceeded again in Coney Island Brooklyn, NY. Through Twitter, Facebook, and the newfound fame they had achieved, they were able to get so many participants and news coverage.

Cyclones host attempt to break pushup record for charity

A few of years ago when JAR of Hope was first created, being a big foundation was just a big dream for a father and his son. Now, they have reached high enough success to have news publicity and famous people supporting their cause. One of the most recent celebrity to support JAR of Hope is the SETS group, including famous UFC Champion Frankie Edgar. The group took on the world’s toughest mudder challenge representing JAR of Hope- Team Jamesy.

JAR of Hope has also utilized social media, most often Facebook, to become a voice for the people and families suffering from this disease. Muscular Dystrophy is a defeating disease, and in the past has not been given much attention. Victims like Ricky Tsang, are finding their voices, and JAR of Hope is helping them spread the word.

They are using these platforms of hope to spread awareness, give people an understanding of what this disease is, and they are raising money for research so that maybe one day there will be a cure. But almost none of this would have happened without the use of different social media platforms. Social media has only increased the mass amounts of feeling they had inside them, hope. 


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