Do you moan that social is evil and very possibly “the end of humankind as we know it”? But what about all the good it does, too, argues Michael Jenkins (pictured below), at Melbourne digital agency Shout! Web Strategy…
Social media gets a pretty bad wrap sometimes. If I had a dollar for every time time a Baby Boomer has moaned, ‘I’m so glad social media wasn’t around in my younger days’ I’d be writing this post from my own private island.
What about all the good things that come with social media?
Take any one of the recent world events as an example. News of tragedy, devastation and heartache has been met with a world united via social media. Feeds flooded with rainbow filter in support of marriage equality; #prayforparis allowed Facebookers to support for those effected by the terrorist attacks with a click of a button; and closer to home the news of the Australian dairy crisis spurred the #milkmo.
Most recently, as we celebrate Global Breastfeeding Week, we also become aware of social media is helping to nourish thousands of babies across the country. Online communities such as Human Milk 4 Human Babies (HM4HB) – a Facebook milk-sharing network with 4000 Australian members – is just one of many initiatives fuelled by social media that is transforming the lives of women and their babies.
Social media helps break news as-it-happens. So much so, that 60 per cent of people to use sites like Facebook as their destination point for news updates. Social media is also breathing life into traditional news sources as they turn to digital platforms to promote print features and drive sales.
Quite possibly the most impactful new feature on Facebook, the safety check in has provided relief to many worried friends and family. Activated after the Nepal earthquake , the safety check is a simple way to let your loved ones know you’re ok.
Gives ‘real’ people a voice
The ultimate democratising, mass communication tool, social media grants everyone a voice. It’s a platform where young and old can share their opinion on politics, sport, and perhaps more importantly, brand experiences with the world. It’s a tool to give people (and businesses) global proportions. Who could ever forget when this young boy met his hero Batman?
Think social. Think good.
Social media platforms were also designed for good – to help reconnect long lost friends; and allow people to keep in touch. Platforms like Facebook help create online communities of people who may have never met, but are connected by a common interest or mutual bond. It’s given the unheard a real voice, and an opportunity to share an opinion and even lead the social agenda.