Social media is the greatest disruptive technology ever. The way it has grown and quietly altered our modes of social interaction and total way of life is nothing short of miraculous. It’s safe to say that the greatest visionaries of our time couldn’t have imagined the influence and reach of social media.
Social media is a disruptive technology in the sense that it has radically altered the shifting sands of social interaction. Social interaction among humans has always ebbed and flowed with the tides of time and technology. Social media threw out the rule book and rewrote an entirely new program for social interaction and engagement. Social media has awakened the latent consciousness of our common humanity. And with this awakening comes great power.
With social media calling the shots and playing greater role in human social interaction, our hitherto slumbering, reactive worldview has been given a kick in the butt and this kick has made us aware of the power for good in our hands. The latent power inherent in social media as in all other forms of communication is a power for good. Social media is for social good. A lot of things are broken in our world today. From global warming to poverty, HIV/Aids and the problems of broken governmental institutions. With social media, we can tackle these issues by raising awareness and either tackle them by crowd-sourcing innovative ideas from the populace or by calling on relevant agencies to assist and do the needful.
In Nigeria where I live, the power of social media has been harnessed to crowd-source help during the Dana Air Crash, as a form of enterprise development by Nnodim Compere and her AdoptATweep team, and as a platform for Climate Change Advocacy by Esther Agbarakwe amongst others. The UN and its agencies as well as various foreign governments and high net worth individuals like Bill Gates have adopted social media as a voice for their cause with remarkable effects. Even profit driven companies have a well thought out social media strategy to give a human voice to their brand. Upcoming entrepreneurs, writers, artists and the likes recognize social media as the first frontier and so realize its potential to expedite their niche carving efforts.
Social media has power. It behooves us to recognize that power and channel it to causes that deal with issues that affect or common humanity. This is our time to make the world a better place and social media is the medium.
(Hammed Ajiboye is a Writer and believes in the power of Social Media to effect societal change. He is currently using Social Media to raise awareness about Sickle Cell Anemia. He tweets as @HammedAjiboye)
blcompere OP-ED: This post reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of blcompere as a publication.
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