ARMOLD: Making best of social media


A simple assignment recently was quite the privilege — letting the York community know about the fundraising efforts of two local basketball teams.

York Catholic Fighting Irish

As you might already know by now, when the York Catholic and Delone Catholic girls’ basketball teams meet Friday, each basket will help fight childhood cancer.

Their game is a combined effort between the schools, Fox43 and Harrisburg-based, online fundraising platform PLEDGE IT, where money will be donated on a per-point basis to benefit The Four Diamonds Fund. (

This is an awesome effort worthy of praise.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention that numerous other schools have engaged, and will engage, in similar efforts. And they are certainly just as worthy of praise.

Anytime I read or write about those endeavors, I also enjoy how they make me take a step back and freshen my life perspective.

These achievements utilize the Internet’s capability to bring out the best in us.

The following might not be a popular sentiment for those not willing to stop, take a second and really think about things, and perhaps change their own perspective. But I’m willing to take that risk.

Sadly, with the growth of social media, there's also come a growth in online bravado.

One can see trash talk back and forth between students, athletes and entities, claiming to represent “student sections.”

Most of the time, the banter is good natured and fun. However, it sometimes can needlessly slip into the unnecessary realm of trading juvenile insults.

There are no winners in those battles. None.

So, why not channel that aggression into something more worthwhile — something that actually matters and makes a difference in our lives.

Anyone can spit out their hostilities in a 140 characters or less. It’s decidedly more productive to actually make a difference, even a small one.

Got that game against your rival coming up? Instead of trash talking online to prove your school pride, why not try to set up a contest to see who can be the most charitable?

Even if you “lose” on or off the court, field, etc., you still win.

Besides, what does looking like the bully on the Twitter block really do for anyone in real life? I’ll tell you, nothing.

While one should be pleased that these fundraisiers are steadily growing in number, here’s hoping that they can also help people gain a little perspective as well.

Is that online battle really worth it? It's usually just a meaningless trolling contest.

So, if one really still feels the need to show off, why not show how much good can be done, rather than whose profane vocabulary is greatest?

After all, if we’re going to make the most of this new technology, why not show maturity through activism beyond silly hashtags and retweets?

Many could stand to learn from the example set by the Irish and Squirettes.

Besides, who can help the most is always far more interesting than who can yell loudest.

Reach Elijah Armold at