Social media has evolved into so much more than a social networking tools that allow people to stay connected, share their meals and update family and friends of the day to day happenings in their world.
It isn’t so much a specific application that is unexpected, but rather the board range of services and awareness that using social media has provided. Everything happens in real time, and a message that would have taken days, even weeks to navigate the globe can now be there in just a matter of seconds.
In the days of Terror attacks, most recently in Manchester, social media is used, not only as way to share details of the news story, but also allows a means to offer support, share information, and ask for help. People post that they are looking for people, or that they have a place for people to take shelter, offer food, and to organize any relief or support campaign.
Social media has also proven huge in raising awareness of a cause, illness, or other campaign. Think ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the #NoMakeUp Selfie raising money for Cancer research, and the #BostonStrong hashtag after the bombing at the Marathon. While these are all Global awareness activities, Social media is also helpful at a community level…it has been used to help find lost pets, notify communities of danger lurking, ask for information on a crime that has been committed, and to advise of missing or run away children. With the rise of online funding options such as Go Fund Me, as well as online petitions like change.org social media provides an opportunity to grow your cause and reach people you would never otherwise reach using conventional methods before the advent of social media.
It will be interesting to see what the next few years bring, as I am sure we haven’t even imagined what capabilities it holds!