Lately, social media has been getting a bad rap. I have to say there are quite a few things about the medium that are positive. As defined by the Oxford Dictionary Social Media refers to – “websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.”
I’m in a couple of Facebook running groups and I’ve seen and experienced real community. In these running groups, runners encourage each other, share accomplishments, pictures, statistics of their runs and so much more. These are virtual communities. Don’t let the word virtual mislead you, this is as real as it can get. Groups are generally comprised of people that share similar interests from all over the world, coming together to “do” life with each other – the very definition of the word “community”.
The Global Village is real
We are now connected to people all over the world by the click of a button and the concept of a global village is real and true. There are people we would otherwise have never met, because of this innovation we are now all connected.
Great way to make friends and for some people – it’s the new marriage mart
Social media and the internet as a whole creates a whole new way to make friends, meet new people, get jobs, find romantic partners. Previously the pool of friends or life partners was limited to one’s neighbourhood, school, university, church or workplace. With the advent of social media, it is possible to many more people (of diverse backgrounds) than was ever thought possible! There are groups like Meetup that translate to real-life get-togethers, Facebook groups, dating apps, employment platforms. A world of possibilities.
Vast Trove of Information
So much can be learnt on certain social media platforms. Tips on so many topics: money management, hiking, home decor, meal planning, exercise programs, books to read, parenting and so much more. There are always those little tricks people have learnt from experience that you can’t read about in books – but can only be gleaned from people with real-life experience. An astounding amount of information that people are kind enough to share. I think of olden days when people would sit by the fire and wisdom was passed on from generation to generation, and now it’s not around a fire that knowledge is passed on – but it is passed on from a keyboard.
Great way to keep in touch with family and friends
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are great for keeping in touch with family members or friends one is not able to see regularly. For some grandparents, it’s a great way to see the progress and achievements of grandkids that live far away. People share life achievements such as engagements, weddings, births, and deaths on social media. Something similar to the society pages but with less notoriety.
As Edward Enninful said, – “Social media is fine, depending on how you use it”