Our worldwide responsibility

May 19, 2016

Social media influence on world change: Participants of the social media-born movement dubbed 'La Nuit Debout' ('The Night awake' or 'The night standing up') gathers on the Place de la Republique, in Paris the event has been compared to The Occupy Movements.

The internet and social media are having an enormous impact on the world we know.

Before the technology, only those in powerful positions could send their message to the masses — now that power is almost in everyone’s hands.

Day to day it builds business brands and markets to people but it can also be used as a powerful platform or tool to organise events such as the Black Lives Matter or Occupy Movement.

It’s been the key for people to rebel against authoritarian or corrupt governments in the world.

Obviously there are negatives to these platforms, they can become all-consuming addictions for some people and disconnect them from reality.

Negative messages can be spread via social media, particularly cyber bullying, however by the same token, positive ones can also be spread.

What is key to good social media use is a carefully constructed message that strikes a chord with people. It has the potential to go viral on the worldwide web and create change for the better.

A recent example that I think will get picked up and go viral is presenter Waleed Aly’s great seven-minute piece on the dairy crisis in the Goulburn Valley.

You can’t argue this won’t make a difference here; at the very least it puts pressure on the powers that be to do something, and also describes the crisis to those who don’t know much about the dairy industry.

We’re also hearing more sides to the story than ever before as was shown by the battler Duncan Storrar on ABC television’s Q&A program.

His opinion was picked up and placed on social media and is resonating with the public despite some established media’s attempt to destroy his reputation and disregard the truth of his question.

Obviously sometimes social media campaigns fall flat. Does anyone remember Kony 2012? However the freedom it gives people to keep governments and organisations honest is so important.

We just have to hope hateful and dishonest messages are ridiculed and disregarded. Easier said than done — but Rome wasn’t built in a day.

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