5 Ways Social Media Makes Good Things Happen

Social networks can create positives for society. Here are five reasons why.

1. Social Media Helps People Make New Friends (All Around the World)

While there’s no substitute for making new friends face-to-face, social media makes it easier than ever to connect with like-minded people.

It can even forge unlikely friendships.

In a new initiative, elderly folk in Chicago (who’d love to have someone to talk to) are being hooked up with teenagers in Brazil who want to learn English. They hang out using video chat.

It’s a win-win, and a beautiful story.

2. Social Media Makes Learning Easier

Over half of professors now use social media to connect with students and to share their research.

A recent study found that academics believe “the interactive nature of online and mobile technologies create better learning environments.”

With sites such as DuoLingo and the Khan Academy blending social tools with learning experiences, online education is becoming part of our daily lives.

When you’re challenging your friends on who can put in the most study time, it speeds up learning.

3. Social Media Helps Raise $$$ Millions for Good Causes

Nonprofits are increasingly turning to social media to tell the stories of the good work they’re doing.

And when these stories get out there, people give.

DonorsChoose.org, which helps teachers raise money for pioneering school projects, last year reported that it has raised over $1 million through Facebook alone.

4. Social Media Is Good for Democracy

As the changing political landscape of the Middle East shows, social media gives powerless people a voice.

While it’s impossible to predict the final outcome of the current power ruptures going on, people having a voice can only be good for democracy.

5. Social Media Helps Us Find Common Ground

Until very recently, our friends were the people who lived closest to us. Geography was the most important factor in who we’d hang out with.

Social media hasn’t completely changed that, but it does mean it’s easier to find people with common interests. When people get together around something they’re passionate about, a community of shared interest is created.