It would be wonderful if politicians would stop dividing the country by political parties. When addressing the media or posting their opinions on social media, it would be refreshing if they went by the creed “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Stop blaming what is going on in this country on one party or another and come together to fix what is broken. We have more in common than not but yet we put all our attention on the few things that cause this division. I want everyone to make the effort to Choose Love and not division. Make the effort to Choose Love regardless of someone’s religion, political party, race, and whatever else that seems to be dividing not just our country, but the world. – Autumn Muray
As a part of my series about social media stars who are using their platform to make a significant social impact, I had the pleasure of interviewing Autumn Murray. Autumn lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and two children. She is a travel addict, self-professed foodie and has an obsession with cycle/spin classes. She is an abuse survivor and is passionate about her online lifestyle magazine — Simply Amazing Living — where she dedicates a section of her site on overcoming the obstacles of her past and sharing her experiences of making the conscious choice to Choose Love in all aspects of her life. -Candice Georgiadis
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I worked in public relations and communications for a five-star hotel brand for nearly twenty years and I left to be a stay at home mom. In 2015, I discovered blogging through my friend Stacie Connerty who has had her blog for over 10 years. She knew my career history and asked me to write articles for her blog — Divine Lifestyle. After going on a few media travel destination trips for her I was hooked! I love being able to travel and to write about my experiences, so I started Simply Amazing Living.
For years I have been contemplating whether to write a book, a play, or a movie based on my life experiences. I decided that I could dedicate a section on my blog about my life experiences. The section is called “My Story.” I also have a section dedicated to social justice as it is something I feel passionate about.
One day soon I will write my book, play, or a movie (or all three) about my life. I would like to talk to a few industry people before taking that step and getting their advice on how and where to start.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began this career?
I can say that the most interesting aspect of my blogging career is being able to interview celebrities and professional athletes.
It is a humbling experience for me to meet and interview people that I never thought I would meet let alone interview.
I have interviewed Octavia Spencer, Chris Evans, Shannon Sharpe, Keegan Michael Key, John Cena, Judy Greer, and a host of others. My dream is to interview Michelle Obama and/or Oprah.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Who volunteers to cover an event on social media without actually knowing details of how social media works? Me, that’s who.
In 2016, I was on social media but I wasn’t familiar with how to use it to its full potential. I had Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram accounts, but I rarely used them. I was only active and familiar with Facebook.
I was asked to attend and cover the 142nd Kentucky Derby for Divine Lifestyle in 2016 because Stacie was not able to attend. She asked me if I wanted to attend for her the day before the flight to Kentucky was scheduled. I had never been to the Kentucky Derby before and couldn’t turn down the chance for a VIP experience. It was a scramble to get everything together so quickly, but I was able to do it.
This was the first event that I was covering for Stacie, all of the other trips that I had been on were media travel destination trips. Upon arrival in Kentucky, my contact for the Kentucky Derby experience gave me a list of hashtags and a list of companies to tag in the post. I had never used a hashtag or tagged anyone on Twitter or Instagram before. However, I did not tell anyone this.
So, I went to my hotel room and Googled why and how hashtags are used and how to tag someone on Instagram and Twitter and spent the night familiarizing myself with the best social media practices. I didn’t want anyone thinking I didn’t know what I was doing!
My motto is — when in doubt, Google it!
Everything worked out well and by the end of the event, I was a social media pro.
Ok super. Let’s now jump to the core focus of our interview. Can you describe to our readers how you are using your platform to make a significant social impact?
I developed a “Choose Love” campaign in 2018. Every day, I send out a tweet with a positive message encouraging people to “Choose Love” above all else in every aspect of life. The tweets include a quote and a picture of individuals wearing my “Choose Love” t-shirts.
I also post regular articles focused on diversity and inclusion and list simple steps that people can take each day to make the conscious effort to “Choose Love.”
Wow! Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted by this cause?
The individuals who have purchased my “Choose Love” t-shirt are always sending me messages about receiving compliments on the sentiment of the shirt. This world needs love more than ever before, and I want to be a leader in the “Choose Love” movement.
Was there a tipping point that made you decide to focus on this particular area? Can you share a story about that?
Even though I have always lived my life by focusing on the positive and not the negative and making the choice each day to “Choose Love,” my tipping point was after the 2016 presidential election and all of the divisiveness that ensued after the conclusion.
Hate crimes are on the rise in America and something needs to be done to get people to love and respect each other regardless of our differences. My goal is to work hard at getting my “Choose Love” message across to get people to respect each other. I would love to get celebrities and athletes to join in on the “Choose Love” movement and help to bring about unity.
My past has always driven me to help others. I specifically want to help those who have been abused and/or raped to let them know that they can lead a successful loving life regardless of what was done to them. Ultimately, my goal is to be a resource in the field of sexual abuse and discrimination.
I am open to supporting multiple charitable causes and have a dedicated section on my blog called “Sharing is Caring” promoting charitable organizations.