Social media are computer-mediated tools that allow people, companies and other organisations to create, share, or exchange information, career interests, ideas, and pictures/videos in virtual communities and networks. There have been many articles about how social media is bad for teenagers, how it distances them from their family and friends, and how it makes them less sociable. However, is social media really such a bad thing? Although the anonymity online may bring out the ugliness in people, many acts of kindness have been documented and shared widely on social media, a refreshing change from the nasty hate posts.
Social media has become a more widely used platform for users to share their own, or even witnessed good deeds. Over the past couple of years, the number of people using common social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram has increased drastically. Not only have teenagers and adults have taken to using these convenient methods to share about their day, other users include the elderly as well! With this increasing audience, it is no wonder how inspiring posts can create a large impact.
Netizens have expressed a collective approval at such posts online, indicating how they are welcomed and how they may even become popular in the near future. Personally, I have experienced kind acts from complete strangers and without hesitation, I have quickly typed out paragraphs about them and shared them on Instagram, prompting my friends to comment things like “That’s amazing!” and “That’s really touching.”.
According to the Straits Times, the growing number of such positive posts could indicate the social media landscape becoming more mature, and people are moving away from just posting videos of wrongdoings. Many acts of kindness may not be featured in mainstream media and it is a good thing that many Singaporeans are taking the initiative to post about them on their social media accounts, ensuring that others know about them.
I feel that posting about good deeds online is an effective way to express appreciation and to remind and inspire others to carry out their own acts of kindness. In a way, it generates social pressure to be just like the people featured in these posts. Social media can be a very powerful medium to influence others to do good, especially when celebrities and others with a large online following share about issues present in today’s society. I believe with this method, the negativity online will be washed out by the surge of positivity. What are you waiting for? Make a change today!
Jocelyn Lim (3 Justice)