Social Media – its impact on us all

Social Media – its impact on us all

With the terrible events that seem to be becoming a regular occurrence at the moment, much has been said about the impact social media has been having, both for the good and the bad.

I was interested to read about the government’s approach, suggesting that the social media giants need to do more to prevent their channels being used for extremist activities and this started me thinking.

Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay and has made communicating even more instantaneous, creating a generation who want information now and are generating content at an incredible rate. Whereas in years gone by, we turned to newspapers, TV and radio for information and then the internet, now it is social media and phones.

So, we need to try and understand how this is affecting our behaviour as a society and not just blame the organisations for lack of control. What Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc have done is create a beast that is almost uncontrollable, so maybe we are taking the wrong approach in trying to control it. Rather than suggesting that these companies put more and more controls in place, why don’t we look at educating the users and this is an area that the governments in every country can play a role.

Surely it would be easier to add an element in the curriculum for all schools on how to use social media well and how it can cause chaos when used inappropriately. I am not saying that the social media giants should not do more, far from it, they should play a role in the education, possibly part funding it. I also think they will have to continuously look at ways to counter not just terrorism, but many other potentially harmful uses, but I do think there needs to be a collaboration between the businesses and the governments and other bodies including schools, religious groups and other social groups. Only if we work together will we stand any hope of taming the beast.

But, I will leave you on a positive side of social media, if we look at the recent events in Manchester, London and The Grenfell Tower disaster, social media has been used for good and has enabled communities to help, share information and prove that the vast majority of people are good and only want to help, providing shelter, care and support for those affected by each of the incidents.

As always, I’m interested to know what everyone else thinks.