A few days ago, Ottawa Police warned the public not to tweet the locations of their roadside check of the RIDE (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) program because doing so would undermine the police’s effort to get impaired drivers off the road, and the consequence could be deadly.
This made me think of the good and the bad things people do on social media. The kind of tweet above is an example of its improper use, so are cyber bullying, online pornography and spreading damaging allegation online.
Social media is a very powerful tool and ideally should be used to benefit the society. I appreciate the companies which promote their business via various social media tools by giving valuable and relevant information to their customers, listening and responding to them, offering goodies and reward for loyalty and giving back to the community. There are also individuals who educate and offer help via social media. Some examples are Lean Cuisine and Dr. Mehmet Oz using Facebook, Twitters and blogs to help people eat and live healthy, Col. Chris Hadfield (the first Canadian astronaut who led a 5-month mission on the International Space Station), who charmed millions of people via Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr blogs and Reddit’s AMA (Ask Me Anything) by sharing his experience in space, educating and entertaining his audience.
One of my favourite web sites is Wikipedia. Through the cooperative effort of volunteers worldwide, it provides up-to-date references to millions of topics.
These are some of the goodness brought to us by social media.