Social Media has ignited a profound change in our everyday experience, and it has become woven into the fabric of our culture. But with change comes criticism, and social’s role in our lives is one of the most debated topics of the Digital Age.
Social Media has earned a bad reputation as a universal distraction and time suck. Studies have found it to be highly addictive, so it’s true that its worst critics are not necessarily wrong.
However, there are two sides to every coin and social media is no exception. As the negative aspects of social media have made it into the mainstream consciousness, so are the positive and valuable ways it can be used.
Here are some of the more mindful ways that people are putting social platforms to good use:
1| Connection Building
Social networking improves our ability to connect with people across the globe at any time, whether that’s family and friends, or groups of strangers who share interests or are looking for solutions to the same problems.
2| Knowledge Sharing
Teachers, students, and casual scholars alike have found so many ways to use social media for sharing knowledge and skills with each other. Never before have we had so much information at our fingertips than we have at present.
3| News Distribution
Media outlets can share breaking stories, alerts and other important information instantly with their followers, and then the public can share what’s happening in their communities/countries more immediately as well.
4| Emergency Alerts
Notifying the public during emergencies is easy and immediate. By the time local or federal authorities speak up, users of social media have already posted information about disasters and emergencies.
5| Charitable Causes
People are able to share and donate to causes they’re passionate about, and learn what’s affecting communities outside of their own. Social media creates an awareness and helps motivate people to create change.
This is the most controversial benefit of social media. It allows users to seek out any people, information, solutions, etc. that they’re looking for. And it also allows brands to find audiences that are relevant, so they’re only sharing their products and services with the people who are most likely to be genuinely interested.
In retrospect, there are always going to be things we wish we could have changed or avoided altogether. There are, of course, things that the creators of social platforms could have done earlier to avoid some of the negative effects social media has had on society.
However, problems can’t always be foreseen, and without those learning experiences we would be missing out on a lot of good things as well.
We can’t have our cake and eat it too.