|Does Social Media Lead To Social Action for Social Good?|
Thought for the day: There is something wonderful & terrible about all the social media sites. On the one hand, you can interact with people you would never meet without these platforms. It is easy to learn about things without leaving your home. On the other hand, these sites can become addictive, time consuming & may lead to less real life interactions with people. When confronted with four options: 1) like, 2) share, 3) unlike, or 4) move on, or ignore what we see, are we choosing option 4) more often than any of the others. Why are people opting not to interact? Are we becoming voyeurs rather than action takers? Is our attention span becoming shorter & shorter? Do we need more & more negative, shocking photos & videos to get our attention? Is social media missing it's mark & making us more asocial or anti-social? We know that twitter has played an influential role in the Arab Spring movement, so social media can lead to action, but does it sometimes lead to inaction. What does it take to get you to like or share something on social media sites? What stops you from sharing or liking something?
As a psychologist, I tend to test my theories before I write about them. I find the psychology of social media fascinating. For the last few months I have been thinking about & developing ways to understand the psychology of using social media for social good. My most recent experiment came before I even had a theory or a plan to write about it. I was simply curious. I responded to a facebook post & decided to try it on both my personal & book facebook page, my google+ page (which, I really don't understand yet), & my 3 twitter handles. That means the message went out to over 8,000 people or pages. I was reluctant to place the post since it felt a bit like chain letters which I do not pass on, but my curiosity won.
Here's the post I put out on all the above sites:
Stop Violence Against Women www.care2.com engages visitors to click to have their sponsors support various causes. You can click every day & support multiple causes there for free.They are raising awareness, supporting families dealing with the disease & supporting research programs to put an end to brain cancer. It is so powerful that I can only respond to posts a bit at a time, but I make an effort to do so.