Social media is a powerful tool that breeds a new wave of activism. It plays a monumental role in bringing social change in society. Social media creates new avenues for dialogue, connection, and community, enabling us to engage with more people in a wide variety of ways for social good. So the question arises: What is social good? Is it making a donation to a charity? A random act of kindness? volunteering? Is it advocating for a worthy cause? or is it Liking a post on Facebook? Social Media for Social Good.
Social Media for Social Good
Social good is typically defined as an action that provides some sort of benefit to the general public.
From this standpoint, providing fresh water, education, and healthcare are all examples of social goods. However, new media innovations and the explosion of online communities have added new meaning to the term. Social good is now about global citizens uniting to unlock the potential of individuals, technology and collaboration to create positive societal impact.
Social Media or Distraction
Social media is usually termed as an online distraction and some call it a procrastination platform. No doubt, many people are addicted to different social media networks, but it isn’t necessary that everyone wastes their time using it.
Today, social good is about getting people to engage in pro-social actions that benefit society, often by harnessing the power of technology and social media in particular
Some people like to stay informed so they opt for social media which is considered the fastest mean to stay connected to current issues, etc. With the ever-increasing use of social media, news outlets, corporations and persons of interest using social media to deliver messages to the masses. At the same time, some issues create controversy but social media can do more good than harm if used correctly.
Social Media impacts Social Activities
Today, social good is about getting people to engage in pro-social actions that benefit society, often by harnessing the power of technology and social media in particular. Social Media impacts Social Activities, gone are the days when governments, multinationals and large NGOs were the only institutions with the reach and resources to initiate change.
Creating social good takes more than a click (#HashtagActivism, Slacktivism, Clicktivism etc.). It is not just Shares, Likes and Followers. Meaningful social good is about rolling up your sleeves and taking tangible action to create engagement, community building, and discourse both online and offline. But there is no doubt that Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are fantastic tools that can be used to engage people in social good. They allow people to share ideas, advocate and fundraise to solve pressing societal issues. Through online platforms and communities, individuals can add their voice to a cause more easily than ever before and become an agent of change.
In old days, people used to do protests on roads to bring attention to an issue. But in this modern world, roadside protests have been reduced and the people especially the youngsters are shouting their oppositions and support through hashtags on social media websites.
The hashtag #PanamaVerdict alone generated more than 10 million tweets in Pakistan within two days of the Supreme Court’s judgment
Be it a murder, molestation, or other social issues, people are using social media as a platform to raise their voice through status, memes and hashtags.
Bring Justice through Social Media
We can see many examples in Pakistan when social media actually brought change in society and shed light on real issues which were previously ignored.
Justice for Shahzaib was a trend that became famous on social media and forced the government to take action on the incident where Shahzaib was murdered by the son of an influential politician. A young girl from a small town, Zainab was raped and murdered. This issue was also highlighted on social media which lead to the punishment of the culprit.
Among much social media activist, Jibran Nasir, Alamgir Khan (Fixit movement) and Gul Bukhari are some of the prominent names who are using social media to create awareness about social issues
Naqeeb Ullah, killed in fake encounter led to a mass anger on social media. The incident got so much hype that authorities had to open the case against a Senior Superintendent of Police, Rao Anwar. A student, Mishal Khan was killed due to the accusation of blasphemy. He was dragged out of his university accommodation in north-west Pakistan in April 2017 by a crowd of hundreds of his fellow students, who not only killed him but also humiliated his dead body.
When this case became famous on social media, the people who were involved in the murder were arrested. It comes as no surprise that the hashtag #PanamaVerdict alone generated more than 10 million tweets in Pakistan within two days of the Supreme Court’s judgment.
Many social media activists are also working for great causes in Pakistan and are no doubt, part of bringing social change for the betterment of the country. Among much social media activist, Jibran Nasir, Alamgir Khan (Fixit movement) and Gul Bukhari are some of the prominent names who are using social media to create awareness about social issues.
In a country like Pakistan where mainstream media often gives the pressure of politicians and influential elite, social media platforms serve as a strong tool to raise voice against the unjust system and practices.
Charity through social media
Another great aspect of social media is that they are used for charity. Many NGOs and individuals are using social media to raise money for social work projects and for those who are in need.
The #donatefordams became so famous that Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) initiated a fund for the creation of two major dams in the country
The need of creation of Dams in Pakistan was brought up on social media and people were ready to donate for it. The #donatefordams became so famous that Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Saqib Nisar initiated a fund for the creation of two major dams in the country and urged citizens to contribute in foreign or local currencies to reach the required goal.
People collect money through online charity websites for schools, infrastructure building, treatment of fatal diseases, etc. Similarly, people collect money through online charity websites for schools, infrastructure building, treatment of fatal diseases, etc.
We cannot ignore the fact that many people are using social media for the wrong purpose but at the same time, it has also played an important role in bringing positive social change in society. Social media brings people together. It gives people a platform to narrate their stories, share viewpoints and connect with each other. Social media activism has the power to change governments and restructure the political system of a country.
Moreover, bringing people’s attention to issues impacting the lives of our fellow human beings is a good thing. We often live in ignorance of the pain and suffering felt by other people in our community, knowing about the problems of people around us can make us compassionate and empathetic towards others.