The Amplification of Good Ideas

English: An amplifier by Marshall Amplificatio...
An amplifier by Marshall Amplification, MG15DFX. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As I headed into 2015 hoping to scale back my online activity a bit, I found myself asking what I might do when I did not have time to write a post. I decided I would try to do a better and more consistent job of sharing others' content on social media, helping to amplify its impact.

I have written many posts over the years in which I have argued that one of the easiest things we can all do to promote good ideas (e.g., atheism, freethought, skepticism, rationality) is to share them on social media and whatever other platforms we have available. I've generally framed these efforts as a painless way to give something back to the various secular communities, but it is larger than that. Much larger. We never know in advance who will see the content we share, and so its reach likely extends even wider than we realize. It occurs to me that the amplification of good ideas is something we can all do to improve our world.

These days, when I retweet something someone else has written on Twitter or share it on Facebook, I find myself thinking about the impact of sharing good ideas. What do I mean? When you share the good ideas you encounter encounter, here are some things to recognize about you are doing:
  • You have made it more likely that others will encounter the good ideas (i.e., you are amplifying their reach).
  • You have encouraged the individual who created the content you shared to produce more of it (i.e., you are amplifying his or her future effort in this direction).
  • You have disseminated a viable alternative to the many bad ideas out there (i.e., you are amplifying rational approaches).
  • In the case of good but unpopular ideas like atheism or freethought, you have shown other atheists and/or freethinkers that they are not alone (i.e., you are amplifying hope).
  • You have inspired others to share their ideas as well as good ideas they encounter from other sources (i.e., you are amplifying collaboration and community).
I am trying to be more mindful of such things, reflecting on them as I attempt to amplify the good ideas I encounter. I find it encouraging to see how we can each make a difference through something so simple.