How To Make Memphis Better Today With the Click of a Mouse

Posted by: Taylor Oaks at  Monday, January 26, 2015

Winston Churchill once said "Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference."

You have the opportunity to change attitude and influence behavior by utilizing your keyboard and mouse in a way that maybe you haven't before.

I don't know about you, but I sure get frustrated when I hear someone say, "there's nothing good happening in Memphis."

Surely those people haven't experienced the new Overton Square, South Main or Broad Avenue - a small sample of the city's recent growth.

Tactical urbanism and revitalization efforts are taking place all over Memphis. Community leaders and residents are working together to make their neighborhood - and as a result, the overall city - a better place to live.

That's exciting!

But, I actually get it.

How are they supposed to know the good when all they're seeing is the bad?

The local news is saturated with the latest murder, robbery and high school fight after a sporting event. Some people's only source of news is what comes on their television screen, and it's easy to be discouraged and bitter if that's all they're seeing.

Is that the news stations' fault? No, not at all. They're doing their job and I'm happy they are. We need to know the bad going on just as bad as we need to know the good.

But it seems the result is many people staying in their comfort bubble because they have no reason to get out. They don't want to go explore the new developments happening in Downtown and Midtown because they don't really know about what's going on. And that doesn't help the community at all.

This provides a great opportunity for us positive Memphis folk. 

According to Pew Research, 74% of online adults use social networking sites.

The power of social media and the limitless reach a simple Tweet or Facebook status can create provides a chance to change the narrative. It provides a chance for us to tell those people there ARE good things happening in Memphis. There IS reason to not leave your comfort bubble, but to EXPAND your comfort bubble.

Go checkout the cool bar scene in Overton Square. Go have a supreme snow cone at Jerry's. Get your butt to the Grindhouse and watch Z-Bo tackle Blake Griffin. Have a picnic in Shelby Farms. Drink some Ananda (my personal favorite) at Wiseacre. Checkout MemFix and join their revitalization efforts. Chow down on some amazing nachos at Central BBQ - either the original one on Central, the one on Summer or the newest one Downtown. Volunteer and meet impressive neighbors by lending a hand together.

This is just a fraction of the fun things going on in Memphis - things around town that people can engage in, and in the process feel Memphis pride and learn to love their city.

Share your experience. Share good news. Share innovation. Share success stories.

This may be the only way a person hears about the good stuff. People who really enjoy living in Memphis, like I do, have influential power with social media. 

I'm not saying you should be overly-optimistic. I'm not saying you should try to spin bad into good. But there's plenty of authentic good going on in Memphis that warrants more widespread recognition.

I've been making a conscious effort to make my social media presence a positive one consistent with my personal mission, and the great feedback and encouragement I receive from my peers and leaders around the community has been satisfying. It makes a difference!

Am I saying there aren't problems in Memphis? Heck no, that'd be stupid. Memphis has concerning issues in education, safety, budgeting and more. And people are going to hear about that - it's a given.

But like Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell said at the recent Leadership Memphis Fireside Chat, "For every problem in Memphis, there's a group of passionate people making progress." Now isn't that encouraging? Isn't that news worth sharing?

Recently, I've seen information about the Leadership Memphis College Tour on my social media feeds. The organization is looking to raise $50,000 so they can send 400 Shelby County high school seniors on a local and regional college tour. With the Turley Family Foundation committing to a generous dollar for dollar match, the goal is attainable. People are working together to send students on educational tours - isn't that something worth sharing and supporting? Isn't that something worth investing in? You can help by clicking here. 

Sharing encouraging Memphis stories and news on social media won't cure all. But it can make this community a more enjoyable place to live. I truly believe that.

Believe Memphis.


About the Author:

Taylor Oaks is a young professional in Memphis, passionate about content marketing and his community. Taylor is also a graduate of the Leadership Memphis FastTrack Spring 2014. Learn more about his passions and community involvement here→  | Follow him on Twitter→ @Taylor_Oaks


Our Next Step Series offers insights into the minds of passionate Memphians and alumni. Every month, we focus on a topic of importance and relevance to the Memphis community.  We hope you will join to discuss why these issues matter to our city and how we can play a role in them. If you're interested in guest blogging, please email the Leadership Memphis Marketing & Communications Coordinator at

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