Social media holds great power, good and bad, but it also illustrates the unrelenting spirit of the worldwide community. Flashback to when I was a naive kid who first started using Facebook. The statuses my friends and I posted consisted of daily statements of our boring teenage lives about completing chores and surviving tiring days at school. Social media, at the time, was used for posting pictures, writing statuses, liking pages and playing Farmville. I don’t recall a time where a popular social media network, like Facebook, was used as a platform for the full effect of engaging, interacting and uniting people. Maybe in the past it did just that, but for a millennial young adult, it’s only in the past few years that I have realized the powerful nature of social media. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat can make or break someone’s career, inform thousands of people about current events and even influence change. Yet, most importantly, it unites strangers across the globe, especially when there’s a great injustice presented through news outlets. However, social media has become a place where people not only voice their views and learn about the latest celebrity gossip, but share the beating stories of the world. Let’s look at the recent events which have shaken the world and social media. The recent Paris attacks brought the widespread statements of how such an injustice affects so many innocent people. Millions of Facebook users across the globe changed their profile picture filters to the colors of the French flag. When the recent shooting happened it San Bernardino, C.A., my newsfeed was flooded with posts about articles of the tragic event. There were statuses created to inform others of the event and posts shared to express condolences and hope. A social media platform, such as Facebook, is now not only a means to communicate with family and friends or be entertained by funny videos, but a way to express, engage and empower. We, as part of the global community, have shared this single respect of human life and justice which, through social networking, has created a web to connect the world. While it might appear that social media sites put one issue on a higher pedestal than others, there’s too much tragedy in the world for any social network to effectively project all issues. So, as part of a global community we must further discuss these matters. Nisha Desai can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Social media gives news, influences social change