Peas On Earth, Goodwill Toward Twitter

Online Community Rallies Behind Cancer Victim

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[ Social Media]

A couple of days ago something strange began happening on Twitter. Avatars of the people I follow began sporting peas. Peas in the background, in the foreground, pea pods, pea hats. And I’m all, "what’s with the freakin’ peas?"

Peas On Earth, Goodwill Toward Twitter

And sometimes carrots. You know, because of Forrest Gump.

An inside joke, I gathered.

But not a joke, a cause. The peas were appearing on Twitter in advance of today, Frozen Pea Friday. Susan Reynolds, an artist and new media consultant, is having surgery today to remove a malignant mass in her breast. The peas are for her, and for the American Cancer Society.

Let’s back up.

After a painful biopsy, Reynolds opted for a frozen bag of peas rather than an uncomfortable, hard icepack. She tucked the bag into her bra, and that made her laugh. "That bag of peas added a touch of lightness to what could have been a sad and serious tale," she writes at her BoobsOnIce blog.

It also provided a simple and familiar symbol that people could relate to, in addition to providing "a vehicle for conversation and let people tease me instead of having to cry."

"When I fell asleep with peas in my cleavage I’d wake to the smell of freshly cooked peas. That made the story funnier, and more human. Of course I shared it because what is life but a series of stories."

Before long, the frozen peas began appearing on Twitter to show support. And before long again, Reynolds and friends had set up the Frozen Pea Fund with the American Cancer Society.

As Connie Reece illustrates in her video at FrozenPeaFund.com, two bags of peas is worth about $5, which is what they’d like people to donate to help fight breast cancer. Of course, they’ll take more.

Brian Solis believes this is evidence of what a powerful medium a microblogging platform like Twitter can be.

He encourages others to:

"Change your avatar. Follow the conversation. Send your support. Observe the brilliance and magic of what happens when people get together to make a difference in real time."

Peas On Earth, Goodwill Toward Twitter
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  • http://everydotconnects.com Connie Reece

    Jason, thanks for calling attention to the Frozen Pea Fund. It’s been amazing to see it spread from Twitter to blogs and beyond. We raised $3,500 in the first 15 hours after launch — off to a great start!

  • http://www.greatestatesllc.com Alice

    What a great little article about a huge important topic. As someone who’s life has been touched by this terrible disease (is there anyone left who hasn’t been?), I’m inspired to wander over to Twitter and check out the pea farm. ;-)

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