by: Scott Bakken
In 2005, Jessica, my wife, and I packed up everything and moved to Australia to study and be a part of Hillsong Church. Our years there were incredible as we sat week to week under inspiring teaching. We met incredible people and were involved in what I consider to be one of the most influential platforms. It was a season of growth and connection. We loved our time there, but in 2010, we decided to move back to Calgary, Canada, to be close to our family and to establish roots. When we arrived back in Canada, the sense of disconnection and disengagement we felt was audible. Coming from such incredible community to one that felt non-existent was isolating. It seemed everybody in this city was doing something, but nobody was doing it together.
I came to realize the power to connect and build relationships that existed in the forum of social media. However, in recent years, I have also seen the possibility for social media to be used as a weapon. The power to delete, block and unfollow has the ability to isolate and excommunicate.
I was committed to breaking down the walls of isolation and creating something that was designed to be inclusive. What if there was a community committed to including others, without prejudice, even if our viewpoints or beliefs are not mirrored? Imagine the conversations, relationships and possibilities that could come from such a community!
I began connecting with others on Instagram. I was drawn to the beauty in their photos, the power in their words and the sense of acceptance within the Instagram community. From my place of disconnection and frustration, I began to build new friendships with people from all over the world through my iPhone.
This sparked an idea.
What if we all assembled for one cause in order to break down the divides that exist? Ever seen A Bug’s Life? The little ants never knew how powerful they were until they realized their strength as a whole.
If we could gather people from everywhere, we could take the message of love and make it loud ... real loud! This movement could not only connect us all socially but also create moments in time that would allow us to gather physically and meet each other face-to-face. That would allow us to build true, authentic, lasting relationships! This would be a community committed to helping each other develop in ability and mobilize to serve the community.
I spent months on late night phone calls, emails, FaceTime and Skype chats sharing the vision. One by one, people said yes! Yes to a movement of love! We began to assemble a global team that would help share the message of Socality.
The movement officially launched January 19, 2014, and simultaneously we launched our "I am @Socality" campaign. In this campaign, we asked people to post a portrait on Instagram with the caption "I am @Socality." Within hours, thousands of people around the world posted across social media. The faces of those who want to stand for love were made known to each other. The concept of "I am @Socality" was designed to declare that you yourself are the movement.
We officially launched that day, but the passion and concept behind Socality has been in the works for years. It's more than just a platform or concept, but rather it's a movement. A movement designed with purpose, initiated by people and aimed at bringing the true transformation to the communities we live in.People often ask, “What is Socality?” and the answer is easy. You are Socality. You are the movement!
Socality believes that you matter simply because you exist and that you should belong first. We are passionate about the fact that you are never alone. We were never designed to be deleted from community.