How social media saved the world

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We’ve all heard the arguments of how social media is raising a generation of socially deprived young people, with added concerns of depression and mental health issues stemming from the continued impact. It is often all to easy to forget about all the good that social media has enabled / done.

Here are four ways in which social media has helped save the world.

1. #GivingTuesday

The holidays are everyone's favourite time of the year, spending time with your loved ones and exchanging gifts with each other. But what about the ones who have no one?

This is where #GivingTuesday comes in. Started back in 2012, #GivingTuesday is a trending hashtag that continues directly on from #BlackFriday and #CyberMonday.

Unlike most charities, where it’s usually based on a specific topic, #GivingTuesday is essentially a movement encouraging you to do as much good as you possibly can, to whichever cause you can think of. Whether it's donating clothes to your local charity or doing a 5K run for cancer; the ball is completely in your court.

It is a prime example of what something as simple as a hashtag on Twitter can do for the world!

Get involved! This years #GivingTuesday is November 27th - what can you plan / do in the name of charity?

2. Unplugging

Now we know what you’re thinking, ‘hang on, this isn’t social media saving the world’. At first glance, we can see why you have come to that conclusion - but all shall be revealed…

No matter how great social media is, we all need a break every now and then. This is generally known as a #DigitalDetox.

What if we told you that a break from your phone could give fresh water to those in need?!! UNICEF felt everyone needs to unplug and everyone needs clean water, so why not make every 10 minutes away from the phone equal a days worth of water donated to children and families in need.

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UNICEF Tap Project has managed to buy safe water to over 500,000 people through the power of social media (kind of).

3. “I’m safe”  🙋

As much as we like to believe we are in control of all aspects of our lives, the sad reality is that’s not always the case. This is even more true with those that we care about. So when disasters hit, it throws everyone into a state panic - and the number one priority is finding out who’s safe.

Facebook’s Crisis Response is a tool that allows for you to let everyone know where you are and for you to see exactly who is safe. The safety check has brought peace of mind to so many people from all over the world.

4. Tweeting Hugh Jackman

One day, Hugh Jackman feeling charitable decided he wanted to give back. But with all the charities in the world, he faced a similar problem we all have; which charity to choose. So he took to social to get an answer to his problem.

This single tweet sent charities across the world in frenzy, tweet, blog, articles were flying back and forth in a mad dash for the cash. But one post, in particular, caught his eye.

It was this image here, touching Hugh Jackman so much, he ended up donating to their charity.

One of the winning tweets came from Charity: Water president and founder Scott Harrison, who tweeted a link to a photo of a group of Ethiopian children holding up a hand-made sign with the simple message “Dear Mr. Hugh Jackman, thank you for helping us!” Harrison added: “dear @realhughjackman — just snapped this near eritrean border at a school of 1400 w/o clean water.”

 

Social media, like everything, is not perfect, but it’s by no means completely destructive. So whether you think it’s heaven sent or as bad as sand stuck between your toes, it is here to stay. It is our actions in instilling the good and moving past the bad that can help our next generations become true, valued digital citizens.

What do you think? Any other examples that are worth noting? Perhaps your school has used social media to push charitable actions? We'd love to hear all about them - please do comment below.