Sunnier Side Of The Home Office – September 23, 2020

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"I do think that I was born under a very bright star. Because if you think about my life, I get out of law school. I have top grades. No law firm in the city of New York will hire me. I end up teaching; it gave me time to devote to the movement for evening out the rights of women and men."

- Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Supreme Court Justice and legal, cultural and feminist icon passed away last week. She will become the first woman in history to lie in state in US Capitol this Friday. 

Training Influencers to Talk About Mental Health
By: Ben Thomas

The COVID pandemic has become the perfect storm for mental health issues. The existential anxiety of a contagious virus, the feelings of isolation and loss from social distancing, the stress of economic upheaval, the anger about ongoing racial injustice brought into sharp focus. Any one of these is enough, but we’re experiencing them all at once, one on top of the other.

And as our lives are devoid of normal distractions, we’re spending more time on social media and the influencers thereon. The appeal of influencers is the feeling of connection fans have with them. They listen to their stories, engage with them in comments, send DMs like they would to their friends. But with mental health issues spiking, most influencers are ill-equipped to talk about or interact with fans about their own emotional wellbeing. 

Recognizing this, HBO and partners held an online training program for influencers this summer, helping them “to responsibly address mental health through sharing their own experiences, responding thoughtfully to commenters, posting resources, and using appropriate language”. Participating influencers were given a certification after completing the course, and tools to help de-stigmatize and manage mental health issues amongst their combined 110 million followers.

And while we shouldn’t expect influencers to be therapists, they do have the ability to shape public and personal perceptions through their content. It’s a responsibility that they need to be prepared for.

Tweet the Vote 
By: Jade Spadoni

Your social media platforms want to make sure you’re ready this November.

Welcome to 2020, where logging into your social media account you can find everything you need to know from how to register to vote to why Cardi B filed for divorce. If you opened up at least one of your social media apps (particularly Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter) this past week, you probably know that Tuesday, September 22nd, was National Voter Registration Day. 

On Tuesday, Twitter announced that it has formed a partnership with National Voter Registration Day and shared their initiatives to empower its users to join in the conversation, participate confidently, and make their voices heard. Personally, my favorite part of their voting campaign, due to its seamless flow from Twitter to the web, is the home timeline prompt. This prompt is shared with anyone on Twitter within the US and directs users to TurboVote – where they can register to vote or confirm their registration. But how effective is this? During the 2018 US midterm elections, 68% of people who used TurboVote via Twitter turned out to vote – not bad! Additionally, while 9 in 10 Twitter users say they plan to vote in the 2020 election, over half said they still need more information about candidates and how to vote. Fingers crossed that with these new activations across Twitter, users will feel more empowered to voice opinions and engage with their communities as well as find information and avoid “fake news”.   

With the power of social media, voting and obtaining the right information is becoming easier than ever before. So, I leave you with this question – Are you registered to vote?

In 1953, Mark Sullivan, President and Director of the Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Co., predicted in a news article that there will be "no escape in future from the telephone". This is what we said: 

“Here is my prophecy: In its final development, the telephone will be carried about by the individual, perhaps as we carry a watch today. It probably will require no dial or equivalent, and I think the users will be able to see each other, if they want, as they talk. Who knows but what it may actually translate from one language to another?”

Pretty spot on.