Using our powers for good.

For the first time, I was able to use my obscure “quasi-hacking” skills to use for something good. And up until this point, I understood and respected the world of the hactivist in a theoretical and academic sort of way.

I get that hacktivists are doing the hard work of using their vast and rare skills to access people and information through the massive web of connection that we all live within. I get that. And I love that they exist.

But this week, I got to tap into my own skills to do the same. And now I get it-- from the inside. Now, I use the word “hacker” in quotations for a reason. While I’m learning the ins and outs of sophisticated cybersecurity and hacking, I don’t claim-- nor will I really ever-- to possess any serious technical hacking chops. I love Mr. Robot, but I’ll never be Mr. Robot. I know myself and my limitations-- and that’s totally cool.

But I do know social engineering and I understand the nuances of human behavior, expression and communication--- particularly with social media. And coupled with my journalistic background-- I have an obscure ability to make connections and assumptions through social.

And while I normally reserve the surface level of those skills for my small business clients learning social media-- I finally found a true purpose for that skillset.

And then seeing the other people in my community put their own unique skillsets to work on trying to find young girls who've fallen victim to human trafficking, was fascinating. It gave a new purpose to the technical skills I use on a daily basis for commerce.

And so I dug deep into the human trafficking world this week. I found a handful of organizations that are doing this type of technical problem solving to help tackle the nuanced and massive issue that is human trafficking and I’m excited to see their work. I sleep better knowing they exist.

And as I’ve been trolling through the darker sides of social media this week, I also realize how blessed I am. I won the fucking lottery when I was born. I never forget that and this week has further reinforced that lottery ticket.