Writing about social media and it’s great strength to transform your dreams into reality is something that I had always believed in. But something just happened recently in Paris due to which I felt almost forced to write about it. Like every right thinking person, I am also devastated by this act of one human killing another barbarically. While governments all over the world had taken the hard step of waging a war against a few countries, I felt that social media can change the way things are going on in the world at this moment, specially, extremism.
Social media since it’s inception had been a game changer for how we used to communicate and now it has become one of the most important tools for business, marketing, sales and many such aspects that can help your existing business to go from Zero to Hero. Having said that how can this great medium help solve problems for humans like providing help during floods, natural disasters and man-made disasters? That will be great to imagine and surely someone will start working on it soon. Merely, posting an update about these problems doesn’t make us a responsible citizen. We have the responsibility to fix these problems so our future generations can be given a better world to live in. There are a few ways with which the problems of extremism can be solved by social media and here they are:
- Sharing correct information: Sharing information that supports your organizations or beliefs will take us nowhere, we as humans need to co-exist and to do that we need to understand that small time gains might lure you in the beginning but in long term it may not help. Hence, we all need to ensure that we support the hashtags, posts, images and videos that are relevant to a particular situation or problem. Targeting a particular community is as equal as the shootouts in Mumbai and Paris.
- Unfollow wrong people: Unfollowing or unfriending people who are trying to come in your peace process and harmony is no shame. In fact, that gives them a clear message that even though they have all the rights to post as cyber laws and social media laws are still not very tough enough but at the end if they are supporting a wrong cause they will be left alone. We always have an option to not talk with a problematic person around us. Why not implement the same for somebody who is merely a warmonger.
- Sharing more than usual: Since there are equal number of negative people who try to take advantage of these heinous crimes, it is our duty to spread the word as soon as possible and as much as possible. Remember peace and spreading peace is the only option we go forward.
- Social media champs: The people who have massive fan following have the responsibility to give it back to society by supporting the peace process to defeat those who under the name of religion or race are trying to sabotage the humanity. It’s true that they make a lot of money by their work and their fans like them unconditionally, hence it is even more important that as role models they start behaving in such a way too.
- We have an advantage: As peace lovers and technology savvy people, we have an advantage over people who might have learnt how to create deadly explosives but they still don’t have any presence on social and rightly so. We all can unite together and start a campaign that can move mountains. Governments have to take necessary actions and would have to come out of their politics in such times of crisis.
- Don’t believe everything: Most of the electronic media and print media are biased nowadays with their own set of interests and run the business of news by the sole purpose of earning lots and lots of money. There is nothing wrong in earning but it should not be done on the basis of a bias. Hence we as citizens and responsible social media users need to understand who is showing us what.
- Debates: We should participate and provide our inputs in debates happening on social media. Just one great post is enough to start a debate online and it can go viral. This could result in consensus building and moving towards a solution that is good for all.
- Follow great leaders: Listen in to what some of the great leaders, leaders who had helped in similar situations, have to say online. Support them if they are saying the right thing. The support provided by us to them at real-time could really be a game changer as it is authentic and is been a majoritarian view. As they have a greater reach and influence, if done in the right spirit it can really change the scenario for a positive change.
- No rhetoric, Please: We should focus on people with the views expressed with some kind of facts. Mere rhetoric stems the politics. Hence, I would make sure that either I am ignoring a person who is constantly going on with his views minus any facts to support them. Samuel Butler once said “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing but a little want of knowledge is also a dangerous thing“.
I believe that social media is a great revolution to unite all of us again. We should not let this opportunity go so easily. The best part is it is free to use and nobody cares where you come from, how you look and if you are rich or poor. It’s a great leveler and will certainly change the world in the coming times. What do you think. Please share your comments.