It’s often spoken about, it’s much used and it’s loved or hated. But whatever you think of it you can’t avoid social media. Lately it’s been the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons.
People have been the victim of cyberbullying, or trolled. Bullying at school simply continues overnight so the victim gets no respite whatsoever and is it any wonder that the result can sometimes be mental health issues. In fact, there is mounting evidence that some people are replacing real-world relationships with social media activity and undergoing social distancing.
There’s a phrase that has made the headlines lately. Social distancing. Ironic isn’t it that social distancing will help us overcome the Coronavirus pandemic. That’s got to be a good thing right? And yet social distancing caused by the misuse of social media channels is very definitely not.
So whatever you think, social media is a powerful medium that can be used to great effect, or great disadvantage. In times like these, this tool will enable social distancing but actually allow people to stay in touch in a meaningful way, continue to network with business contacts, speak to audiences and let the world know what their business is doing right now, and keep in touch with loved ones, friends and family.
Maybe there is a greater use for social media than the superficial “stuff” that gets posted on there. Do we really need to see a photo on Instagram of your dinner? Thought not. But it maintains normality. Whatever that is right now.
You can speak to whoever you want to. You can use video platforms to interact with actual humans, albeit digitally, and communities can make use of it to great effect to support and look out for one another, especially the vulnerable and those in need. And of course you can let the world know that your business is still there and operating.
So something that can cause problems for some people through unintentional social distancing might actually turn out to be the greatest tool we have to maintain our wellbeing for the coming weeks and months.
Whatever you think of social media, it has a place in our society now and it’s up to us to decide how best to use it.