I, like most people, have been blaming social media creators and platforms for the influx of false realities, bullying, suicides, growing up too fast, and the overall hate in this world. Well, a few days ago that view changed. One of my “quirks” is that I love watching Judge Judy. In the episode I was watching, she explained that social media is not what is spewing hate; it is the humans behind the keyboard spewing the hate.
This gave me a whole new perspective. Social media was not invented to increase suicides, crime, or political arguments. It was created to connect people in a digital, technologically savvy world. We, the people, are misusing it.
As with any part of parenting, we need to all work together to ensure our kids use this new world in the right way. I am sure all of us are trying very hard to find a balance between letting our kids embrace the new world of technology while also ensuring their safety. In addition to safety, are they mature enough to handle what they see? Are they mature enough to scroll past a status update that they do not agree with? Are they mature enough to see curse words? But what about the grown-ups? The adults? The older generations who should know better.
I, for sure, do not know the answers to these questions. But what I do think we can all agree on is the following ways to use social media for GOOD:
- Enhance your current friendships and help make the world feel smaller.
- Promote your business.
- Promote the importance of supporting small business.
- Establish donations for various organizations: St. Jude, American Cancer Society et al.
- Be real! Find a sweet spot between oversharing and perfection.
- Share needed community resources.
- Give people a place to meet virtually when they cannot meet in person.
- Mentor young adults that you know. Teach them how to appropriately be present on social media platforms.
- Connect with like-minded folks in your area / career. What better than a large number of career references at your fingertips?
- Find a community with shared experiences: battling cancer, grieving a loss, pet diagnosis et al.
- Keep in touch with old friends and plan a high school reunion easily.
- Use social media for free learning 24/7.
I am almost positive there are a lot more ways we can all come together and use social media in the way it was intended: for the good and the good of others.
Feeling part of a group of people is something we all have likely experienced at various points in our lives. We were created as social animals and we can all benefit from feeling part of a community that understands and relates to you. Stay away from engaging in conversations you do not agree with or relate to unless you are empathizing with the individual.
I will leave you with this:
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” – Unknown