Kony 2012 & the Dangers of Social Media, Part 4

David Quinn —  March 16, 2012 — Leave a comment
This entry is part 4 of 4 in the seriesThe Dangers of Social Media

So, you heard a story about a man who is kidnapping children and forcing them to fight in his personal army and you want to help bring it to an end. Have you considered methods beyond the ones suggested to you from a single source?

Have you asked why Kony might be doing these things?
Are you aware of the history and politics of the place where it’s occurring?
Is the situation the same today as it was 5, 10, or 20 years ago?
If we petition the U.S. government to get involved, how do you think U.S. leaders and military will respond based on their record?
Are there Ugandans already helping?
Are other African nations or agencies involved?
Why haven’t previous efforts produced the intended result?
Who should receive your money, your time, or your voice?

All of these questions and hundreds more need to be asked before you can determine what methods you should use to respond to a problem like the one which has been raised in Kony 2012. Our ideas of how to best help someone in the U.S. could produce an entirely different result if done in the same way in a different culture.

I’ll use this final post to direct you to people who are presenting some other thoughts and ways for you to consider what is going on, what others are already doing, and what you can do to learn more and decide if you should act.

A few responses from some thoughtful people living and working in Uganda:
Kony 2012 and Social Media: Think Before you Post
Kony 2012: A Survivor’s Perspective

A list of organizations I trust, operating in Uganda:
Africa Renewal Ministries
New Hope Uganda
International Justice Mission

A list of organizations that promote nonprofit accountability and transparency. Search their databases to learn more about a particular nonprofit and compare it with others:
Charity Navigator
Guide Star
Ministry Watch
Better Business Bureau

The most humbling thing for us to consider is whether we are really even needed in this, or in any given situation. We are often being drawn into someone else’s cause or mission. There are any number of things you can do in a day or decide to devote your life to accomplishing. We are aware of many things that we simply cannot do and it makes us feel powerless. We love to hear that we are needed and that we can make a difference. There are things in our personal lives we know we should do and we often do not do them. It is humbling to realize sometimes that God is accomplishing something with other people and he has a different job for us to do. Your mission may not be glamorous and it may not capture the attention of the masses, but you are called to be faithful with your time and place in God’s story.

I’ll leave you with one final thing to consider from Colossians 3:23-25.

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.”

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David Quinn

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David is the Director of Institutional Assessment at Eternity Bible College. He started following Jesus when he was nine, grew up in the San Fernando Valley, and went to college with the plan of graduating and moving to a jungle somewhere. Instead, he started serving in high school ministry and worked for nine years at a Christian relief and development agency serving children in need. He gained experience traveling, teaching and learning from the global church in over fifteen countries, while developing strategic partnerships and evaluating the effectiveness of programs. He is passionate about organizing massive amounts of information and turning it into stories. David and his wife Anna live in Simi Valley and serve in various ministries at Cornerstone Church.