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How has Social Media Helped Influence the World in a Positive Way? (Essay Sample)


THE task was to identify how social media has influenced the world. The sample highlights the positive effects of social media, including how it has promoted good governance


How has Social Media Helped Influence the World in a Positive Way?
How has Social Media Helped Influence the World in a Positive Way?
Until recently, social media was merely an emerging trend. Today, various social media sites have amassed billions of users around the world. Duggan and Brenner (2013), report that internet users under the age of 50 are likely to be on a social networking site of any type, they further assert that women are likely users of social media as compared to men. The rise of social media has fundamentally changed how we communicate; it impacts on nearly every aspect of our personal lives (Qualman, 2010). Qualman (2010), further states that the benefits of a socially driven society are numerous; employees, businesses, entrepreneurs, companies and democracies all stand to gain from this phenomenon.
The pervasiveness of social media has facilitated simple and immediate access to information in a world where traditional media outlets are heavily censored and regulated. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have eliminated political and geographical boundaries to open up the world, making it a “global village” where users can freely interact, irrespective of their global locations. Social media has made it simpler to find people with shared interests for the purpose of sharing information (Linders, 2012). Social media has also made it easier to find and make friends. Before the invention of the World Wide Web, it was quite difficult to connect with people as it was hard to pinpoint those who had the same interests. The emergence of social media and internet enabled mobile devices has enabled friendships to spring up even beyond geographical boundaries.
The speed of information sharing on social media has changed the way the world learns about and responds to natural disasters. It has eased rescue mobilization and recovery efforts since it offers users a way of getting updates on such catastrophes. Affected families and friends are also able to look for their kin who were in the vicinity of an incident by using social media features such as Facebook’s “Safety Check.” Social media is an important method of propagating information during disasters. The response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake is a pointer to the ability to raise awareness and funds by using social media sites. The Red Cross was able to raise millions of dollars for disaster relief in less than 48 hours due to the publicity raised on social media sites (Gao, Barbier, Goolsby & Zeng, 2011).
Social media changed the way various governments around the world run their affairs. The improvement of civic participation and citizen engagement has been attributed to the rise in social media uptake. It has promoted transparent governance because constituents can now easily interact with their leaders and offer their opinions on government initiatives. Presently, it is no longer business as usual for governments that relied on the suppression of traditional media to cover up for their shortcomings. Governments now have to interact with and respond to their citizenry in a digital age where the stakes have been raised. Social media has opened up the democratic process in unfathomable ways. Initiatives such as “We the People,” an online petition launched by US President Barack Obama, show how simple it is to get a response from the government.
Social media sites portend both negative and positive implications for today’s world. When used correctly, social media can offer users several benefits in their personal and public lives. Those doubting the power of socia...
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