Social media has a bad reputation; it’s often perceived as a group of platforms which cause and encourage extramarital affairs, stalking, party crashing, and generally bad events to occur. This opinion is especially popular amongst those who don’t use social media. However, this is not true. Social sites and apps do not cause these events; they merely enable them to happen. And in much the same way, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many others can enable good events to occur too. As the focus is usually on how inherently evil social media is, I thought it was about time we stopped to take a look at a few good things which have happened as a result of interactions on these platforms.
This post is not only a suggestion that social media isn’t all bad, but also acts as a reminder that social platforms are made up of people who are, on the whole, good eggs. Let’s celebrate that for once, instead of focusing on the negative. Ready? OK. Let’s go.
Tweet saves a girl from human traffickers
Just one tweet to the Ministry of Railways in India started a snowball of reactions to help an orphaned girl who was being forcefully taken to Delhi. The entire event was live tweeted after the young girl passed a note to a fellow passenger, who then tweeted the Ministry, and the suspected human traffickers were handed over to the Government Railway Police at Ramagundam railway station.
Facebook message saves a climber’s life
Whilst out climbing Himalayan glaciers, Professor John All was unfortunate enough to fall down a 70ft crevasse. John broke 5 ribs, a knee and an elbow, and also dislocated a shoulder. All alone, and at 6000ft above sea level, John’s options were limited. He turned to Facebook, where he posted a message for help, and Global Rescue were contacted on his behalf. He then managed to climb out of the ravine, and was rescued from his camp the next day.
Twitter prevents a suicide
Alone, struggling with her mind demons, and not feeling able to contact anyone she knew in ‘real life’, Dr Pooky Knightsmith took to Twitter one day to ask for help with leaving the house so she could move away from the open pill bottle that was tempting her to do something drastic. The response was incredible, and Pooky managed to leave the house and calm her mind down, before returning to the house in a better state of mind – all thanks to some strangers on Twitter.
Instagram helps a woman to get healthy
There has been a lot of unfavourable press about Instagram over the past year, regarding how users portray their lives and how this can adversely affect impressionable, less confident people. However, many people are benefitting from Instagram too (that just rarely makes the news). Take Ashleigh Munn for example. After living on a diet of junk food throughout her pregnancy, she ended up being very overweight and requiring crutches to move around; the birth of her daughter and a health scare inspired her to begin a weight loss journey, which she documented on Instagram. Ashleigh followed fitness gurus on the platform for food and exercise ideas, and has ended up inspiring others herself too. Go Ashleigh!
Of course, these examples are a drop in the ocean; social platforms are assisting with good every single day. These platforms are simply a result of the people who use them. Yes, they can facilitate bad things happening, but let’s not let that be all that is spoken about.
Featured image credit: tashka2000