I've shared my frustrations with social media and I've listened to many of you express similar sentiment. In reality, most of our frustration is with social media users (humans) not necessarily the communication channels themselves. I've recently witnessed some incredible situations where social media has created paradigm shifts and saved lives.
The future of technology is the future of humanity. In the spirit of acknowledging the good and remaining social bipartisan, I’ve mapped out three incredibly powerful situations that wouldn't have been possible without social media and the humans behind the social screens. We The People decide how the space is used. Anything and everything is possible.
Who knew that two simple words could create a paradigm-shift in less than 24 hours. "Me too" posts have flooded social media feeds creating a sobering reality of how common sexual harassment and assault are in our society. These five letters have had millions of mentions, creating a velocity that can't be stopped or ignored. The next step is yet to be seen but the conversation, which has been suppressed for decades, has surfaced.
Las Vegas Shooting
I woke up on October 2nd and immediately read a friend's Facebook post she wrote while hiding after escaping the Vegas shooting. The unimaginable devastating news unfolded from there. I recently lived in Las Vegas and have a community of friends in the area. I was able to immediately scroll through Facebook's Safety Check crisis response functionality to see which friends had marked themselves as 'safe' and which had not yet done so. This feature has made a huge difference during all types of chaotic disasters, including the recent hurricanes and fires.
Natural Disaster Rescue & Relief
As the recent hurricanes hit, some people who needed to be rescued turned to social media in order to communicate their whereabouts. The pace, reach and efficiency available through social media hashtags are unmatched compared to traditional forms of communication. Lives were saved. Similarly, raising money for hurricane recovery and relief through crowdfunding campaigns, which are promoted on social media, have proven to be quicker and more effective than other forms of fundraising.