Social media has taken over our lives. No one can avoid it for long and I can name only a handful of people (mostly older relatives) that don’t at least have Facebook. This has all been evident this week with how fast the Stop Kony video has traveled across Facebook and Twitter. Word travels fast and when a story gets huge, it takes on a life of its own and there’s almost no way to stop it or attempt to control it.
Social media has tons of advantages. Companies are able to engage with their customers on a whole new level and with the invention of the Facebook “like”, they can easily find new customers based on similar interests. Social media is a great way to catch up with old friends and let people that you care about know what you’re doing, especially if you live far away from them. You can also use it to keep up with the news and your favorite celebrities and athletes. With the Stop Kony video, word traveled so fast about Invisible Children and we are able to change the world in a whole new way. Everyone has instant access to anything they could possibly want.
That being said, when word travels so fast, it can be difficult to control information. For example, every week it seems like there is a new death hoax for a celebrity on Twitter. Also the Stop Kony video was spread around the internet so fast and people just blindly reposted the link for the video without doing some actual research on Invisible Children. While what Invisible Children is doing is great, I felt that people should do some research on the charity and the actual story of what is happening in Uganda before they jump on a bandwagon. This is an example where social media can potentially be detrimental.
Social media, for the most part, is a wonderful positive in all our lives. However, as public relations professionals and social media “experts”, it is our responsibility to make sure that social media is used correctly and that we use it to our benefit.