Social media has changed the way we connect and communicate with others. Roughly seven in 10 people use social media platforms like Facebook (also known as Meta), Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, and others. But, in recent years, these platforms have also come under fire for reasons ranging from biased algorithms to their effects on mental health.
While social media platforms may have their issues, they can also be a tremendous force for good. They allow people to find support for illnesses and issues, offer low-cost ways for nonprofits and others to build supportive communities, and help people stay connected, especially during times when it was important to abide by social distancing practices. And you can help build the momentum of social media’s potential for good in five key ways.
The act of scrolling through social media and reading or viewing negative news is called “doom scrolling.” And it’s common to share the stories that get us the most agitated. Instead, try “hope-scrolling.” Look for and share good news, positive stories, and heartwarming anecdotes. Follow profiles and pages that are good sources of these items like The Good News Network or Happy News. Once social media algorithms catch on to your preference for positive news, you’ll start to see more of it in your feed. And many social media platforms have a function that lets you mute or unfollow the negative folks in your feed without actually disconnecting from them.
Follow your favorite nonprofit or charity on social media and share their good news, events, and other items. You might even want to share with your followers why that organization or cause means so much to you. This will help get the word out about something important to you and may also generate new volunteers or donors.
Keep an eye on your social media feed and send messages to friends or family members who may be at risk of isolation or loneliness. Use your social media accounts to stay connected with people who are important to you and help them combat loneliness.
Looking for creative ways to reach out? Pick a day of recognition like those listed on National Day Calendar and send an appropriate greeting. You’ll find everything from National Gazpacho Day (December 6) to World Creativity and Innovation Day (April 21), which can give you fun and meaningful opportunities to show someone you’re thinking of them.
If you have a social media following, you can help generate interest in and support for important causes or initiatives. Share fact-checked information on your social media accounts to help make the world better. Whether you want to make your neighborhood more livable or stand up for social justice causes that matter to you, your social media accounts can be good vehicles to educate others.
Challenge your friends and contacts to spread acts of kindness. They don’t need to report exactly what they did (although it can be fun to share if they choose to do so) but challenge your friends to do one kind thing for someone else every day or every week. If you need ideas, here is a good start.
Be a part of the effort to flood social media with good news and positive messages. It will make logging on an entirely distinct experience.