|There it is, in black and white.
Recently Jim Mitchem reminded me about an important date coming up on the calendar — a day he himself designated to celebrate the the idea of love by simply saying “I love you.”
This celebration began back in 2009 as more of an experiment. In Jim’s words:
I was fairly new to social media and in awe of its mass mobilization potential. To see an idea spread across the world in real time is pretty amazing, but things like that happen here every day. When an event occurs that affects people on a universal scale, pay attention to social media.
Sure, there are some people here who could give a rat’s ass about anything that doesn’t directly affect their well-insulated ego cocoons, but most of us use social media as a way to connect and share with other people who make us feel like we don’t have to carry life’s burdens alone. It’s reassuring to know we’re flying through space on this rock with human beings who actually care about each other.
Then it occurred to me that just as with the power of good, so too could social media be used for the power of evil. And I imagined how Hitler might have mobilized masses in this space. After all, propaganda is just communications. Just words. And so it was … I had the idea to test the power of words in social media. Or rather, to test the power of one word – Love.
That year (2009), he shared his idea with me and a short list of social media influencers who have become permanent virtual acquaintances (and in many ways great friends). And he invited us to join his experiment, which he launched with a beautiful inaugural post.
The results surprised us all. #iloveyou became a trending topic on Twitter and made waves elsewhere, splashing across most of the social media platforms that existed four years ago. We loved the experience so much that the day itself – April 4 – became an unofficial, (mostly) unorganized, organically grown annual celebration for us … and a growing list of others.
Four years later, Jim, Molly, Staci, Nichole and I haven’t abandoned our belief that words have the power to transform, change, shift, and move people in ways we often overlook or under-appreciate…and that one, two, three words in particular, have the power to not only summon profoundly good feelings, but also move us closer to profoundly better ideas.
And so today, April 4, 2013, I join my esteemed peers and virtual brothers and sisters in loving arms in inviting you, once again, to share these three words with the world through social media (we’ve added a Facebook page if you’d like to post there, too):
I love you.