Just about everyone I know of uses some type of social media. Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or any of the other popular social media platforms of today, most of us use one of them. Social media has become strongly woven into the fabric of today’s society, and it has played a tremendous role in transforming how we communicate with our friends and families, share our thoughts, and even how view certain things in life. There is no other form of media that I know of that holds the power of communicating to millions, and patterning and shaping our opinions like social media. Social media has literally changed the world.
When I think about the influential power, and worldwide reach that social media has, I think of it as an incredibly impressive set of tools. Typically, when you think of tools that you use, there are everyday common tools that we often take for granted that have the ability to perform tasks that no other tools can perform as effectively. For instance, when you want to cut a board in half, a crosscut saw proves itself to be a very effective tool in accomplishing the task. When you want to drive a nail, no other tool can perform the function as efficiently as a hammer. Similarly, social media can perform the task of communicating thoughts, opinions, and experiences better than just about any other tool that exists today. All of us that use social media are publicly opening a window to our lives for others to see into. Social media allows us to spread our viewpoints and messages to hundreds, and potentially thousands simultaneously, all with a simple click of a computer mouse. According to the most recent statistics from a survey conducted by Pew Research Center, 67% of all internet users today use some type of social media. When you consider that statistic, it’s hard to argue against the fact that social medial holds some incredible power with today’s society.
Now let’s again consider the idea of social media being a tool. All of us have our own set of social media tools that we have in our “social media toolbox.” Some of us have the tool of Facebook in our toolbox. For some of us, Twitter is the tool of choice. LinkedIn seems to be the tool of choice for the college educated professional crowd. Whichever it is that we prefer, we all have our preferred tools in our toolbox. How are you using the social media tools in your toolbox? Take a moment and think about the common hammer that you have in a toolbox somewhere in your home. That hammer can be a wonderful tool to assist you in building and home improvement projects, and can play a vital part in bringing the projects that start only as an idea into reality. The same hammer can be used to tear things down, bust out drywall, and destroy almost anything that it smashes into. I would like to suggest to you the idea that the tools of social media that we all use on a daily basis can be used to build up and create wonderful things, and they can also be used to tear down and destroy. Social media’s power to build up is equal to the power it has to destroy. We have to make a decision everyday how we want to use the social media tools in our toolbox.
I think back to what I have read in the Bible of how Jesus gathered together a group of twelve common men; some of which were simple uneducated fishermen. Jesus took this group of men, shared with them the thoughts and teachings of God, his Father, and together this group of twelve men turned the world upside down. Christianity as we know it today was spread throughout the entire world through the efforts and dedication of these original twelve followers of Jesus. It is amazing to think about the fact that everything we know about God and religion today is a result of what was shared by these twelve men. I guess if Jesus would have had Facebook and Twitter back then, these twelve men would have “liked” him on Facebook, and “followed” him on Twitter. Can you even imagine what they could have done, and how fast they could have done it if they would have had Facebook, Twiiter, or Youtube at their disposal? Wow…If they would have had Youtube back then, I am certain that the message they were sharing would have went viral!
Today we DO have the luxury of having the tools of social media in our toolbox. We can choose to use all the different types of social media to build up, encourage, inspire, and change our part of the world for the better. If we want to, we can also choose to use our social media tools in a destructive manner, like a hammer tearing out drywall; spreading bitterness, hatred, division, strife, or any negative thoughts that we decide to spread to the world. The ability to choose how we use the wonderful and powerful tools of social media is in our hands. I encourage everyone to choose wisely how you use the tools in your social media toolbox. There are enough things in this world that discourage, tear down, and destroy. What this world needs is more frequent words of encouragement, inspiration, and hope. Through the great tools of social media, we can spread encouragement and hope to hundreds at a time, and help others achieve their dreams. There is nothing I can think of that is more satisfying than to know that you have made a positive difference in the life of someone else. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” Use your social media tools to build up and create the changes that you want to see in your little piece of the world.
Thanks for Reading!
Until next time.