Cramm Charity: Positively Social
We’re so totally stoked to present our latest interview with Lilia Buckingham, one of the founders of Positively Social. Created by a group of teens (Maddie and Mackenzie Ziegler, Lilia and Jack Buckingham, and Charlotte and Lily Block), Positively Social works to help other teens use social media through a positive lens and become aware of the effects social media can have if used negatively. Yes, we’re feeling crazy inspired too.
Before starting, make sure to follow follow follow Positively Social on Instagram and check out their website.
theCramm: Was there a specific event that inspired you and the other founders of Positively Social to start your charity?
Lilia Buckingham (LB): Well, Maddie and I had always talked about trying to find a way to prevent all the horrible stuff that happens on social media. We would go to each other if anything happened, and then Kenzie was receiving lots of hate at one point, and it hurts us to just see it happen. And same with our friends who weren't as much in the public eye. We felt kind of powerless. So we thought this was a great way to spread awareness and use our platforms for good. So I guess it was just a buildup of things!
theCramm: How did you go about creating Positively Social and putting it into action?
LB: Well, we started by all talking about our experiences, the good and the bad, and tried to figure out what WE would listen to and we would respond to. So we created a curriculum to be taught in schools and also started to raise awareness online. The way we look at it, we want teens to hear from other teens - whether they are "normal" or " famous," bullying really hurts!
theCramm: As a charity run by teens, were there any obstacles you had to face because of your age?
LB: Well, I had to talk to my mom about a lot of the financial stuff, like getting a license to have people be legally allowed to donate money and all that. But other than that, I think it was super different for us because we didn’t think like adults do... Our ideas were sometimes outrageous, but we knew that anything was possible. It took a lot for people to take us seriously, but now I think that people understand that this isn’t just a little project, we really want to help people.
theCramm: How does Positively Social hope to make a difference by educating teens around the world?
LB: We want to help people understand the true reality of social media. Because it is so new, we don’t really know much about it, or as much as we would like to know. So by teaching kids what hurts others and what isn’t acceptable online, we are bringing awareness and making kids smarter technologically.
theCramm: Do you have a favorite story about how Positively Social’s involvement was able to affect change in someone’s life?
LB: We have received so many uplifting comments and stories, but my favorite is probably one that happened in person. I was at the mall with a few of my friends, and a little girl came up to me and told me that Positively Social made her realize that she was doing things online that she didn’t even know were hurtful. Of course, she felt horrible for unintentionally offending those people, but she said that without the organization, she would not have realized that what she was doing was wrong. She thanked me and it was the first time I understood that what we were doing could really change some peoples lives.
theCramm: What do you think some of the biggest problems facing today’s youth are when it comes to social media? What are your thoughts on the future of social media for young people?
LB: There are so many people online who think they know you because they follow you on instagram. They feel like it is your whole life and that it defines you. And with that in mind, they think it is okay to send hate and even death threats. It’s quite scary honestly. I think our biggest problem as a generation is thinking that we know someone because of how they portray themselves on social media, and learn to distance ourselves from it when necessary. I hope as we grow up, we’ll be able to use social media as a platform to educate and inform people.
theCramm: If you could give one piece of advice to teens concerning social media, what would it be?
LB: Don’t let yourself obsess over it! The amount of followers and likes you get does NOT define you as a person.
theCramm: If you could ask yourself any question about Positively Social, what would it be, and could you please answer it?
LB: I think it would be what could I do to get involved? And there are a few different answers to that. The easy one being that you should always be spreading love online, and fighting against the hate. If you want to take it a step further, you can start a club at your school focusing on the curriculum written by us, and/or you could become an ambassador!
theCramm: Is there a way for any interested teens to get involved with Positively Social?
LB: Oh I didn’t even mean to answer that question! But again, you can start a club at your school focusing on the curriculum written by us, and/or you could become an ambassador!