Social media has become a vital stimulant for social change in the 21st century. In response to this phenomenon, I believe that we share two major tasks. First, we must fully embrace the change and make a sincere effort to understand the platform. Secondly, we must utilize social media in a way that is beneficial, not detrimental to society.
To some degree, the majority of people on Earth are now truly impacted by social media on a daily basis. Succinctly put, social media is “technology, services, and activities designed to enhance both communication and the formation of social ties” (Alfred Hermida). For me the key word in this definition is enhancement. For me, that is the true meaning of social media, the enhancement of society through the positive utilization of communication.
Due to the advancement of technology, social media allows communication to be ever-present and instant on a global scale. This awesome eventuality must be truly understood by each and every one of us in order to fully utilize the valuable aspects of the platform.
As Clay Shirky expresses during his Ted talk on social media: “we’re living through the largest increase in expressive capability in human history.” Shirky supports this claim by stating three ways in which social media has revolutionized our world:
These are significant changes in our society. We must accept and embrace this reality. Only through a collective and genuine understanding of this global revolution can we move forward to truly utilize this medium in the best way possible.
In the words of Alfred Hermida, “Together we are writing the story of us.”
Now, thanks to social media, we all harness the power and hold responsibility in the creation of this story.
What do we want our story to be? How will we be remembered?