Social media has, unfortunately, attracted some fairly negative press of late, most notably the torrent of unacceptable and disgusting racial abuse aimed at professional footballers, past and present.
However, search deeper and there are some really uplifting examples of how social media is being used by the masses to achieve positive outcomes.
Take, for example, the current tragic situation in India, which has seen a devastating wave of Covid-19. Across social media, there has been a huge amount of positive sentiment and, most crucially, fundraising appeals (such as this one by Priyanka Chopra) to help supply medical treatments and oxygen supplies.
The short-lived, not thought out, European Super League, was also effectively ended by fans connecting across social media to bring down plans to create an elite league of 20 European teams. Past players and celebrities, most notably Gary Neville, took to Twitter, Instagram and TikTok to make their disapproval heard. Fans from fierce rivals, who typically would never agree with one another, united on social media to bring down the grand plans of Europe’s elite. Could this have happened before the advent of social media? Potentially not.
Finally, cast your minds back to lockdown 1.0. Remember the one-minute clap and neighbourhood communities coming together to help each other collect prescriptions and pick-up food? That started via social media. Remember the media hype surrounding the vast numbers of anti-vaxxers who would supposedly sway the population into not taking the jab? Well, it didn’t happen. Instead, the uptake of the vaccine has been strong, helped in part by celebrities, influencers, and everyone you know taking a vaccine selfie at the clinic, or vaccine card in hand.
Scratch the surface, and there are some very good examples of how social media can be a positive force for good.