If we've learned anything in the last couple of years, it's that the power of positivity is the most essential form of self-care. While it's not always easy to find the bright spot in a sea of negativity, it's increasingly the kind words and actions of others that provide us with the drive needed to wake up each day and do what's necessary, and to give us motivation to change the narrative and fight for the things we believe are right. Most importantly, though, at a time when so much of what's going on around us feels so overwhelmingly out of our grasp, it's the one aspect of our modern lives that we have the full ability to control — and now, more than ever, every positive message can make a true difference in the world.
It's this knowledge that underpins the Messenger's 2017 Messages That Matter study — and what ultimately served as the inspiration for its 2018 SXSW activation, the Messages That Matter Wall. On March 12, the messaging app set up a blank wall in the SouthBites Trailer Park and asked individuals attending the annual festival to share words of "inspiration, thanks, encouragement, and love" on chat-bubble-shaped magnets. Those magnets, which would ultimately fill the tiny tent with a palpable sense of hope, were visible not just among the participants, but among social media influencers Chris Klemens, Alexa Losey, and Jordan Dowodzenka — all of whom were in attendance for the Messenger event.
POPSUGAR not only got to experience the event as it unfolded but also spent some time chatting with participants — all of whom exited the display with just a teensy bit more bounce in their step. Ahead, looks through a selection of powerful images from the day's events in Austin, TX — and be sure to direct the positive vibes you'll soon be feeling toward someone who looks like they might need it, because you never know just what effect your kindness might have on others.