It is easy to think of ways that social media makes our day-to-day lives easier. From chatting with friends and sharing photos, to keeping current on the news. Even so, sometimes we forget exactly how powerful and far reaching these platforms can be. Social media has the power to effect global economic issues and help thousands of people navigate through hard times.
For example, last week, there was a military coup attempt in Turkey, where soldiers tried to take over the government. Heavily armed soldiers invaded and shut down all the main television broadcasting to take complete control of communication in the country. However, when the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was informed of the government overthrow, he took to social media (FaceTime) immediately. With the help of privately owned and foreign television stations like CNN, his FaceTime was broadcast to all the TVs in the country. Through this medium he called for his supporters to fight back in protest. Thousands of civilians took to the streets and helped police arrest the coup members and take back the country. With the power of social media, the president and people of Turkey were able to completely take back their country from soldiers with tanks and guns! That’s incredible!
There is an increasing number of stories worldwide where social media’s impact on times of unrest is vital. Twitter and Facebook have had a massive impact in the recent tragic bombings in France and Belgium. People are able to tweet out requests or offers for help or use Facebook to mark that they are safe during a chaotic event. These touch points provide major help amid the turmoil. Additionally, the platforms provide visibility to support from other countries and allow real time updates for people with loved ones involved.
Social media can go way beyond simply connecting with friends and family, it can help give people a voice in times of hardship and give families peace of mind. Have you heard any amazing social media stories? Let me know and thanks for reading.