How Can Social Media Disseminate Goodness?
On the stage, a group of people ranging from old grandparents to small kids, mothers, father, wives, sisters, and brothers were seated awaiting the start of the UAE pioneers ceremony that took place on November 2017 in Abu Dhabi. They were families of UAE martyrs, who were martyred in Restoring Hope Operation in Yemen.
In front of huge crowd, they were honored with Forty-six Emirati philanthropists by His Highness Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai and Highness Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of AbuDhabi.
Among the awarded personalities was Munzir Al Muzaki AlShamsi, a local media personality who was honored for using social media for humanitarian service. This takes me to my topic that social media platforms are strong tools to spread goodness in the society.
Changing people’s lives
Munzir AlShamsi view social media as platforms to serve humanity and change people’s lives for the better. He said:“ Influencers have to utilize social media to spread useful information and I used these networks to coordinate between humanitarian cases, hospitals and donors. For example, AlShamsi used Snapchat to address humanitarian cases suffering from extreme poverty while he was covering a sport championship in Egypt. The day after, he received calls from donots who wanted to support people that appeared in his Snaps.
Besides individuals, entities in areas of conflict proved effective use of social media to support people and manage crisis. For example, when the water system broke in Aleppo, northern Syria, in July 2015, the “Water and Habitat” and the Communication teams of the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) used Facebook and Twitter to post maps that inform the local residents about where they can find water. They also asked people for feedback and recommendations and thus they published an additional version of the map that could be used on smartphones. This version assisted people in detecting the closest water point. (Magdalena Mis, 2014). This example shows how social media represent powerful mediums for disseminating lifesaving information quickly in times of crises.
Social media transformed philanthropy traditional form and gave it significant ability to create positive and long lasting social change more than ever. One of the examples about that is China where social media platforms were leveraged to support China’s nonprofit sector by developing philanthropy-related platforms. Through that, social media created a connection between getting news and information from these platforms and simultaneously facilitating participating in philanthropy, which altered the charity landscape. (Emily Weaver, 2014). Moreover, the integration of social media in philanthropy empowered donors and increased citizens’ engagement in social issues.
According to Emily Weaver:
“By being able to donate online easily while gaming, shopping, or socializing, ordinary citizens are able to respond instantly to issues they care about through sites such as Tencent Online Donation Platform, etc.”
Why social media networks were originally created? The first popular answer is: To make the world more open and connected. Yet, with the increase usage and importance of these platforms particularly during the unstable conditions in the Arab world and some regions of the world that suffer from wars and health crises, the answer to the previous question should:
To make the world happier, safer and most importantly caring!