Do you know that more people own a mobile device than a toothbrush? Do you know that grandparents are the fastest growing users on twitter?
Social media has over 3 billion active users now. 61% smartphone users look at their phones within five minutes of waking up and 74% check about 15 minutes before going to sleep.
84% people use social media to support a cause or issue they strongly feel about. Imagine the amount of goodness that can be done or promoted through social media, if we select the right cause.
There are many positive examples: someone finding a kidney donor through Facebook, funds being generated to support a social cause, people raising their voice against sufferings in Syria, Palestine or Yemen, human rights violations; sharing of inspirational stories of people fighting a disease or helping others.
However, what is worrying is that social media is also being used for promoting hatred and divisions. While it feels good to find an old friend on Facebook, it saddens me to see old friends fighting on grounds of politics or religion.
How can we use the power of social media for promoting goodness? Here are some tips:
Define your purpose: Remember, your social media usage defines you, your personality and your character. Your post, comment or even a like means you believe in it. The purpose needs to be clear in mind in order to decide on content that we post, like or share.
Say “no” to hatred: Stay away from reacting to posts/comments that spread negativity and hatred. Don’t follow the groups or people who do so. If such posts reach you through your networks, don’t comment or get involved in discussions.
Treat opinions and posts with respect: You may get hundreds of messages, many of which you may not agree with or even dislike. Don’t respond harshly. Be respectful to people and don’t make personal comments. No response is better than a bitter response! It will break the cycle of negativity.
Think before you post or share something: Remember your purpose. Ask yourself, what impact my post, or comment is going to make? If it is going to do well, go ahead, else abstain.
Social media has given all of us a voice which our earlier generations did not have. We have an opportunity to make a positive impact on the world by sharing good ideas, inspirational stories, speaking for the voiceless, creating peace, harmony and love. Let’s use it for this purpose.