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How to use social media to drive change

Describing social media as the single most important driving force of the 21st century would be an understatement! Today, if you wish to search, find out, create, or simply scroll through information, social media is that place.

The impact social media is having on the world is immense. And things with so much power often steer the direction the world will head in. So, I am one among those who believe social media, if used correctly, can be a great tool to bring about change in society.

A brand owner today would prioritise having the business on the net and having a social presence way before he thinks of fancying up a glass building. So, what about the generation who knows only of social presence and not glass buildings? If they indulge in the wrong information and get caught in the dark corners of the net, which is possible due to the stretch of unfiltered and unsupervised information, that wouldn’t be good.

This brings us back to the same question: can social media be used to drive good change? Yes!

On the contrary, social media can be good for your kid. The one thing to always remember is that if you are responsible with your social media, your child will be too. If you post photos or videos of your kid without informing them or without asking them, they will post things without informing you too. Teaching your kids to “consent” is very important. Especially now, more than ever!

One question that often comes up in parent WhatsApp group discussions is: when we grew up, we looked up to singers and actors, etc. But this generation looks up to social media influencers and content creators. Is that bad? Not necessarily.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan holds up her medal during the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony in Oslo. Photo: AP/Cornelius Poppe, Scanpix

Activists like Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai have become well-known and household names thanks to social media. Environmental issues, climate-change issues, girls’ education, women’s empowerment, the Black Lives Matter movement, and so many other important and world-changing movements have been held and brought to light by the youth. And all this was possible due to the amazing power of social media.

You must be wondering, do these influencers teach some good values or are they a no-no for your kid to spend so much time on them? It should be a no-brainer by now that creating content in this fast-paced and attention-shrinking world is a mighty task. Yet, these influencers entertain and bring us out of our gloomy and monotonous lifestyle. Especially during the past two years, when the world came to a standstill, not digitally, of course, they were the ones who used this medium to pump positivity and instil hope in all of us.

If we come to the lessons or values, they teach the importance of consistency, hard work, teamwork, and how your voice matters; you matter. Yes, they do bring about the need for unrealistic standards sometimes, but that’s where parents’ guidance comes in.

If you have an idea, an opinion or just something you think will help society or the world then social media has become that space where you can express yourself freely and connect with like-minded people. This is how the world is progressing and this is how it will continue to progress. The world is in our hands and so is the power to change it for a better tomorrow.

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