By: CJ Ramsaran

The real question should be “Why Not Social Media”?  Social Media is much more than friends chatting online, “poking” each other, tweeting, or watching blogs roll.  

The Wikipedia definition of  Social Media is “media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Social media use web-based technologies to transform and broadcast media monologues into social media dialogues. They support the democratization of knowledge and information and transform people from content consumers to content producers.”

With that in mind, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube, and the various WordPresses of the world are much more than chatting, shooting the breeze, or just hanging out!

Facebook logo PNG IconFlickr logo PNG IconTwitter logo PNG IconYoutube logo PNG IconWordpress logo PNG Icon

These social media sites provide a forum to educate, to exchange business products & services, to provide an accessible means of border-free communication & networking, as well as to inspire, motivate, and uplift souls.

On January, 12, 2010 when devastation struck Haiti with a 7.0 magnitude earthquake, a call to action was made. 

Social Media enabled the world-wide population to answer that call to action!  This swift response generated millions in pledges for Aid.  Although lives were lost in this devastation, Social Media enabled so many more to be saved.  Again my friends, why not social media?

Non-Profit Organizations and NGO’s whom support a copious number of viable causes worldwide, have identified the need to use Social Media.  An astonishing number of which have partnered with Corporations that also use and support social media.  So, again, I ask why not social media?

Educational Institutions have reaped significant benefits from the use of Social Media.   Students likewise have reaped similar rewards as Social Media in Education offers students greater access to academic information, and enables them to achieve academic success while maintaining a work-life-balance.   Once more I ask, why not social media?

As with all things, there are both pros and cons to using social media.  Each user has a social responsibility, not only to adhere to the “terms & conditions of use” put in place by these social media sites, but also to conduct themselves in a professional manner.

It is understood that many news feeds, blogs, and comments posted through social media are indeed opinionated.  Yet despite this, one must remain mindful, not just of their immediate audience, but that of the “world-wide-web.”  One also needs to be mindful their news feeds, blogs, and comments are not breaking any laws or incriminating them of any crime. 

There are arguments for and against the use of Social Media, however, statistics show that the user base for social media is on an exponential rise. 

The Nielsen Company reported that social media use is up by 82% worldwide and that social media sites such as Facebook are becoming the most popular homepage choices for users. “This Nielsen report establishes social media as a trend that is not only here to stay, but one that is growing at a mind-boggling magnitude,” stated Bloggerwave Director Ulrik Thomsen.

Yes, there will always be hackers, scam artists, sex addicts, cults, and pedophiles.  The reality is we can’t escape this.  We can however, educate ourselves and our children to be conscious of these inhibitors of using Social Media. 

Social Media is no different from school, work, or life itself… it is what you make it!