Social media: the thing our parents always told us to get off of at the dinner table. But today social media plays a bigger, more important role in our daily lives. It is bringing the distance and bringing the world together with the goal of making a difference.
Mark Zuckerberg briefly touched on this at the Facebook Community Summit. He says that in the next generation our greatest opportunities and challenges we can only take on together. Social media gives users the opportunity to support each other and give assurance that nobody is alone.
Support is more evident than ever on social media since the virtual Hurricane Harvey relief movement. From rescue requests to real-time up updates of where people can find food and shelter, social media saved lives in Texas during the devastating August 2017 storm.
This woman tweeted a plea for help when her family was in danger during the storm. The coast guard responded and added her to the rescue list.
Please Send Help To 9822 ,Shadow Villa Ln Houston TX 77044 2 Kids 4 Adults 7139279748 special need child feeding tube Pls send help
— anna spears (@peacepirate1) August 29, 2017
The USCG of Heartland tweeted what to do during the storm to stay safe:
— USCG Heartland (@USCGHeartland) August 28, 2017
Though these examples show the positive side of social media, the storm also presented the negative effects. The spread of misinformation and doctored images is always a problem during crisis times, such as one that resurfaced during Harvey showing a shark swimming on a flooded highway.
If social media keeps coming together during these crisis times, all users have the power to be a leader. And if enough of us work together to bring each other together, the world can be changed.