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Mack Loar uses social media to raise awareness about diabetes

Mack Loar uses social media to raise awareness about diabetes

Mack Loar uses social media to raise awareness about diabetes

Taylor Gregory, Staff writer

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For many people, social media is a great way to stay close with friends and keep others updated. But as social media has become more popular, it has become less social.

Social media also has become an outlet for aspiring artists, advertisements and self promotions. Is there something more in this endless feed of advertisements?

SRVHS senior Mack Loar has found a way to post for a cause. Loar was diagnosed with Type I diabetes last August. Since then, she has used her social media accounts to bring awareness to the JDRF, previously known as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Through her efforts, she has raised more than $4,000 for the group.

One reason Loar uses social media is because of its ability to send out and receive information instantly. “You don’t have to wait 3 weeks for a letter with a check for a donation,” she said. “You can use a card almost immediately.”

Social media has adapted more accessible ways for people to become involved in causes. Apple and other companies have found ways to make payments quickly and easily on mobile devices. People can save credit card information on their devices, and with a direct link to the charity, donate money immediately.

“My audience is family friends and anyone that people ‘share’ with, so I got a lot of big corporations’ support,” Loar said.

Although social media is a great way to get a community involved, it has drawbacks. Loar said, “It is so critical to have a website that links directly to your donor. If you don’t, a lot of people think you can be using the money for yourself.”

Some see shortcomings in using social media to spread awareness. Claudia Bistrain, as SRVHS senior, said that since “it is so easy to spread awareness to anything, it’s hard to tell who is actually taking action to support the cause from who is just saying they do online.”

People can brag online that they support charities yet do not. SRVHS junior Stephen Zipkin said he “made a post on Tumblr asking for donations to my charity trip. Tons of people re-posted it, but no one donated.”

But despite the negatives, social media remains a means by which people can promote their causes. As Loar suggests, it can be a valuable in spreading the word about important issues.

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