Social Media: It Is What We Make It

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As a new presidential election nears, the environment on social media is already becoming extraordinarily contentious.

Here we go again. Over the next two years, things will get ugly.

People will rant. People will rave. People will engage in digital slugfests.

People will “unfriend” and “unfollow” relatives, coworkers, neighbors, and long-time friends…all because they turn differences in philosophies and priorities into personal insults.

Sigh.

But amid the chaos and combativeness, social media’s dark side has an alter ego—a platform for unification and support.

I’ve personally witnessed the power of people in our community pulling together through efforts to find a scared, runaway dog several weeks ago. And, early last week, after 14 people lost their homes in a disastrous apartment fire a few miles from my house, our police department’s Facebook page became a hub for community members to discuss how to help those displaced. Also, just last Friday, when an erratic driver crashed into a car with several Warwick High School students (two of whom have died since the accident), the outpouring of support for the families, school staff, and grieving community has been extraordinary.

Later this week, I’ll be expanding on my own first-hand experience with social media’s bright side in a blog post for #Strella Social Media. But I felt compelled to touch on it now, as well.

Social media—particularly, its tone and its temperament—is what we make it. It’s up to us whether we use it as a tool for fueling hostility or facilitating goodwill.

 

In what ways have you seen social media used to unify rather than divide? I’d love to read about your experiences!

 

5 comments on “Social Media: It Is What We Make It
  1. I truly agree that social media is what we make it. It depends upon on us on how we use it. It can either unify us or divide us. Hope that people will realize how beneficial social media is and will use it in the right way possible.

    • Dawn says:

      Hi William,

      I’m so sorry that I was so late in replying to your comment! Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts. I also hope to see more people using social media as a tool for supporting — rather than tearing down — each other. The name-calling and pointing of fingers online serve no purpose!

      Thanks again and have a great day!

  2. Mundy Meguire says:

    Hi, Dawn!
    I really loved this blog! The fact you intertwined the negative impacts of social media when it turns political and turned it around to show the kindness of others in a community. Do you find that when you reach out to the public with blogs you can see an impact on social media? I miss talking to you!! If you also haven’t noticed, my reply is for an assignment I’m working on for a class….oddly enough, Social Media Marketing.

    • Dawn says:

      Hi Mundy! Thanks for reading and for your comment. In answer to your question, “Do you find that when you reach out to the public with blogs you can see an impact on social media?” — It’s more so the other way around. I have found that social media is the most effective way to promote blog posts. In doing that, however, I suppose there is a social media benefit, too. Any time you can share content that you’ve created, it helps build credibility and authority online.

      All my best to you with your class! I miss you, too!

  3. Chris Tan says:

    Social Media has so many advantages and disadvantages but it’s up to the users or people on how to use it because as what the title sad, “It is what we make it.”

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