Social consciousness means being socially responsible. It is a way of looking at how your actions can have an impact on social factors. It includes actions, behaviors, and strategies that impact the betterment of society as a whole.
Why Social Consciousness Is Important
As more and more people become socially conscious, there is a shift in business thinking whereby companies and brands are realizing that their products and services should be developed with sustainability and corporate social responsibility in mind. It’s also more appealing for the new generation of socially conscious consumers (Millenials and Generation Z).
That’s why we are seeing more social cause marketing today than ever before, as companies realize that changing their business model and making a positive impact is beneficial to their brand.
Many trading companies today are also taking an active role in socially responsible investing in their business into a socially conscious business, to encourage environmental sustainability and social good.
They strive to manufacture their products and services in such a way that they have as little a negative impact on the environment as possible and ensure that their employees have good working conditions.
A socially conscious business takes every opportunity to make decisions that benefit not only itself but others as well. They may offer their employees opportunities to volunteer and support charities. They will also try to reduce waste, emissions, and pollution wherever possible.
Social consciousness means being aware of problems in the world and taking action to solve them. It means doing what you can to improve the lives of others, even if it’s just donating your time or money to charity or volunteering at a soup kitchen on the weekend.
We live in a world where everything is interconnected and interdependent. We can not just think about ourselves, because we are all connected – our actions affect the lives of others.
Related: What Is Impact Branding
14 Tips on How to Develop Social Awareness as an Individual
Developing social consciousness and making a difference in the world may seem like a monumental task. But once you set your mind to it, you’ll find that it’s not as difficult as you thought.
1. Learn About Social Issues
One of the first things you need to do is learn about the different social issues in your country or community. You can find out about different social issues on the internet. You should also talk to people who have worked in this area and then form an opinion.
2. Talk About It
Talking about social issues will help you understand them better. When you know what you think, share your opinion with other people. Talk to your friends and family about these issues, tell them how they can make a difference, and encourage them to take action, too.
3. Join Communities
You may want to join a community or organization that works to address social issues in your area. Joining communities that work for positive social change can also help you raise your social consciousness. Local chapters of national organizations often offer events that you can attend in your area. By volunteering for these organizations, you can interact with other like-minded people and give back to the community.
If there are organizations that focus on a particular issue you care about, volunteer there whenever possible. While the work you do is invaluable, do not underestimate the value of the contacts and connections you make with others who share your values. Volunteering is a great way to make contacts and learn about other ways to get involved. Your local volunteer center should have a list of service projects and other opportunities to get involved socially in your area.
5. Attend Events
Attend events hosted by organizations that support social causes such as fair trade, sustainability, and human rights. These groups often host galas, dinners, and conferences that raise awareness of their mission and educate attendees on how they can take concrete steps to make a positive difference in the world.
Donating money is another way to support a cause, but it’s also an opportunity to make a statement. If you are looking to buy new clothes or shoes, choose a social enterprise whose products are ethically and sustainably produced. When you donate, find out about nonprofit organizations’ initiatives that impact environmental issues, human rights, and more.
If you’re a wealthy investor, why not sometimes give back to society by donating to a nonprofit organization or even join other stakeholders by providing some funds to a small business community in need? It’s a great way to learn more about local businesses while making a positive impact.
You don’t have to give everything to make a positive social change in people’s lives, but a little bit of empathy can make a big difference in a person’s life. To donate to a good cause and stand up a little more for equality will make you feel better too!
7. Think Before You Buy
If what you are buying was made by underpaid workers in a country where there are no labor laws or where workers are abused, you may want to refrain from buying that item; or at least be aware of your actions and make a conscious decision about whether it’s worth it.
Examples of questions you can ask yourself before making a purchase:
- Do you really need it?
Before you buy, ask yourself if you really need the product or if you just want it. This question can help you avoid impulse buying or investing. You can also ask yourself if the item will still be useful in a year; if the answer is no, you may not need it after all.
- What are the ingredients or components?
Many products contain chemicals that may be harmful to your health or the environment. Read labels carefully and do your research before buying products that could be dangerous. Look for “natural” products that offer the same benefits without containing harmful chemicals.
- Is it fair trade?
If you have the choice of buying products that are locally made, choose the locally-made product because less energy was used in its production and transportation. Also, choose fair trade products rather than those that may have used child labor or forced labor in their production.
8. Recycle and Reuse as Much as Possible to Avoid Waste and Protect the Environment
- Get in the habit of recycling items like glass bottles, newspapers, paper bags, cans, and plastic containers instead of throwing them away. You can also reuse items like grocery bags or rubber bands instead of buying disposable products like plastic zipper bags.
- Do not waste trash, water or electricity. Recycle and reuse as much as possible to prevent waste and protect the environment. The amount of waste produced worldwide is increasing rapidly. That’s why recycling is important to prevent waste from ending up in our oceans and harming animals. Wasting water or electricity is bad for the planet because it uses up resources we need to live healthy lives.
9. Celebrate Diversity
The world is populated by people from a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds. We can learn so much from interacting with people who are different from us! Do not let differences make us uncomfortable – embrace them!
10. Adopt a Pet From a Socially Conscious Shelter
When pets are adopted, lives are saved. So if you are a socially conscious consumer and want to adopt a pet, getting one from a socially conscious shelter is a good idea.
One more adopted animal also means one less suffering animal that needs to be euthanized. Most socially conscious sheltering organizations will match you with the perfect animal for your lifestyle and personality. Many breeds of dogs and cats are represented in animal shelters and rescue centers and it is a good place for animal welfare
11. Do Not Make Assumptions About Other People’s Life Experiences
Some people may have had a tough time and just have not talked about it yet. So do not assume you know everything about someone just because he or she tells (or does not tell) you.
It’s important to remember that we all have different experiences in life and that our reactions are shaped by those experiences – so try not to judge others.
12. Be Kind to Others
Treat everyone with respect, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, religion, race or nationality. Be polite and considerate of others.
13. Be Open-Minded and Willing to Try New Things
Listen carefully and practice good communication.
14. Set a Good Example
Be a role model for others in your workplace or community by leading by example. This doesn’t have to be a huge social mission. It can be as simple as making sure you recycle at work or do not wastewater at home.
Encourage others to follow your example by explaining the benefits of making a social impact and how easy it can be. You’ll find that they not only change their own behavior but also encourage those around them to do the same.
Related: Why Is Social Impact Important
Why Can Not Everyone Have a Social Conscience?
Everyone has different priorities and preferences, and that’s what makes us so different. We can not force anyone to be socially conscious because it may not be in their best interest or priority. Everyone can be socially conscious at their own level. The question is rather: does everyone want to have social consciousness?
Reasons Why Social Consciousness Is Not Lived by Everyone
Sometimes a person chooses to act selflessly. However, this is not always the case. It is not that people do not care about the world around them. In fact, it is likely that those who engage in socially conscious activities such as recycling or volunteering care deeply about the things they do. The reason people do not always realize their full potential is that they do not have enough time to devote to these activities.
Related: What Does Social Engagement Mean
People are busy and want to focus on their own needs. When they are working hard at their jobs, taking care of their families, and trying to maintain some sanity in their lives, they simply can not spend all their time helping others. They do not have the time or the energy to give back to society. Even if they had the time, it would not be practical for them to devote it entirely to volunteering or saving the environment.
Another problem is the lack of awareness of social issues. Many people simply do not know enough about an issue to do anything about it. If you encounter a problem and do not understand why it exists or how it works, you are unlikely to make an effort to solve it.
How to Encourage People to Be Socially Aware
People have a lot going on in their lives, and it’s hard to prioritize helping others when it’s not really easy. You can not force people to be socially conscious, but with a little creativity, you can make it easy for them to do the right thing.
Here are some ways you can encourage those around you to think about social responsibility:
- Share your values. Tell your friends and family what’s important to you and why. The more they know about the things you support, the easier it’s for them to share your passion and social mission.
- Get involved together. When people host a bake sale for charity, they bring the whole community together and raise a lot of money – but let’s face it, that’s a lot of work for one person. Look for ways to get others involved: If you want to raise money for an animal shelter, organize a group run or jog that raises funds from sponsorships.
- Make it fun. If you find ways to make a social cause marketing entertaining, people will be happy to participate. Think about how many times you’ve seen photos on social media of someone raising money.
You Can Also Do This Online
- Create a compelling story. People respond to stories, especially when they are told in an authentic, engaging and relatable way. Storytelling is one of the most powerful tools you have.
- Make it personal. On an individual level, ask yourself what resonates most with you about social responsibility? What excites you about sharing the message? Think about how you can use that passion to motivate others and encourage your team to do the same.
- Highlight the benefits. Social responsibility is not just about “doing good”; it’s also good business and can benefit your employees and customers, as well as your community and society at large.
- Be consistent in your messages and actions. Do what you say and say what you do in all aspects of your brand – from day-to-day operations to marketing campaigns – so that your message resonates with audiences on multiple levels, including the emotional level associated with their experience with your product or service, as well as with organizations they are involved in or issues they care about personally.
- Give back. Social media is not just about spreading the word, it’s about connecting with others. Follow other advocates, respond to comments, congratulate those who contribute!