The fastest growing innovation of recent years is the social media; it spreads like bushfire in the summer. The power of social media shouldn’t be underestimated taking into consideration recent developments around the world, the social media serves as major instrument in galvanizing and spreading information to members of the public. Most people today use the social media to accomplish one or more things such as communication, self promotion or marketing, entertainment and socialization. Antagonists might focus greatly on the negative aspect of the social media ignoring the uncountable benefits enjoyed globally in a diverse world that we live; social media has become a single unifier that bridges the gap between religion, race, ethnic and cultural difference among the people. Instead of giving more attention to social media pitfalls, it’s worthy to reflect on it influence to transform society for the better.
Through technological advancement, news and relevant information is made easily accessible to users and the public via social media platforms which has resulted in the revelation of many hidden information. A typical example is the recent ban on Tweeter in Turkey, according to The New York Times Ceylan Yeginsu “The Turkish government unblocked Twitter on Thursday April 3rd 2014, a day after the country’s highest court ruled that the two-week ban on the social media site violated freedom of expression.” This comes as a result of a circulation of leaked recordings implicating the President and his members of corruption allegations.
The social media serves as a forum for support and safety during crisis. There have been several disasters where the only available means of communication is through the social media. Government agencies, relief organizations and victims disseminate information via the social media to affected individuals or communities. For example during super storm Sandy that resulted in blackout, most people uses Facebook and whatsapp to assure their family members of their safety. Also during the Japan Fukushima disaster, Tweitter, Facebook, Google, YouTube and Skype plays vital role in responding to the people caught up in that disaster and others wanting to help shares dramatic, unfiltered audio and text reports before government or other traditional media can do so.
The social media has become a valuable source for background check. Many employers search their employees through Facebook and Linkedin to obtain vital information on their personality, the type of friends they hang out with as the saying goes “show your friend, I will tell who you are.” This concept has helped many to tailor their behavior and present themselves in a more appropriate way. It also helps security agencies to track criminals or gang related crimes on social media networks.
Social media serves as an eye opener and a form of political influence. Recently, a wave of violence erupted in the Middle East leading to regime changes in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. The major platform of information dissemination was Facebook and Tweeter, with such powerful tool that bring people of every sector together gives a true voice to the voiceless and forces governments to listen to their populace.
There is no doubt that society has been transformed in better ways through social media by information dissemination, support during crisis, source for background check and given voice to the voiceless in order to influence political change.