When it started, social media was mostly used by people to share messages, pictures, videos, and generally to communicate and make jokes. However, social networking sites have matured since then and they are now being used for far more constructive things in addition to their original and most important function. Although each social networking website has its strengths and weaknesses, pretty much all of them can be used to make the country a better place. The following are some of the noble uses of social networking sites.
Facilitates political change
It is quite easy to create a movement on social media. All you need is a worthy cause and the masses will rally behind you. The great thing about using social networking sites to organize and mobilize people is that the sites are completely free of cost. Let’s go to North Africa in 2011… An Egyptian uprising organized primarily on social media motivated thousands of protestors to demonstrate on the streets for 18 days until the president resigned in February the same year. Numerous movements have their roots in social media and the great thing is that they usually go viral. The end result is that whichever cause the movement leaders are advocating for eventually gets fulfilled.
Social networking sites help the economy
Social networking sites were not a big deal around 2007 but they have grown tremendously. These sites have led to the establishment of a new industry which creates thousands of jobs and helps to generate billions of dollars’ worth of product and advertisement sales. The amount of money generated directly and indirectly from social media as a result of improved customer service and increased productivity could generate up to 900 billion dollars for the economy.
Senior citizens feel more connected to society via social media
According to a study conducted in 2010, the age group increasing at the fastest rate in social media is that of people aged 74 and above. The number of these senior citizens on social media increased from 4% to 16% between 2008 and 2010. That’s a 300% increase! When interviewed, older people say that they feel happier when they are able to contact their family on social media and access church bulletins and such other information which is moving out of print into the digital space.
Social networking sites help shy people to connect with others
In general, 53% of teenagers are considered to be somewhat shy or “a lot” shy. 25% of these teens said that they feel less shy when they use social networking sites. 28% of them feel more extroverted and 20% get a confidence boost when on social media. Young people who are less capable of socializing say that social networks give them a comfortable place to make friends. Shy adults who were interviewed agree that social networking sites are comfortable places to interact with other people.
There are very many places in society where social media has not yet been used to bring about positive change. The methods in which social media can be used to improve communities are virtually limitless. Whenever a problem arises in communities, you can count on a creative mind to come up with a solution that makes good use of social networking.