Social Media for Social Cause

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Social Media for Social Cause

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As the world increasingly centers around digital technology, the importance of the Internet and social media have gradually but surely increased in our daily lives. Research has found that Canadians, the world’s leader in Internet usage, averages 43.5 hours per month. This figure is nearly twice as much as the world’s average of 23.1 hours. Additionally, the rise of social media has taken a great chunk of our time spent on the Internet. In a survey that focused on Canadian social media usage, it was found that 70% of Canadians claimed they use social media while 70% and 47% of Canadians have a Facebook and Twitter account, respectively. Canadians are also a big fan of blogging as 74% of Canadians have a personal blog.

So with all this time spent on the Internet and excessive usage of social media, what do Canadians and people of other nations actually do on the Web? In a recent study, it was shown that 53% of young adults, between the ages of 18 and 29, go online any given day for no particular reason other than to have fun or to kill time. I am certainly guilty of being a member of the 53% as I typically leave my Facebook open every time I am on the computer (yes, at this very moment as well). However, I don’t believe that I am alone on this. I think many students, young adults, or even middle age people are addicted to the Internet and social media, and this Internet usage has become extremely unproductive overtime. Not only can we become inefficient, unfocused and frustrated when we attempt to complete a task while having multiple social media websites opened simultaneously, we are wasting our time, privilege and the ability to leverage social media for a good cause.

Recently, I was watching a TEDxMcGill: A Revolution Is just a Mouse Click Away, presented by Christian Elliot, a McGill undergraduate, and I was inspired by his motivation and dedication to using social media for a good cause. One of things that really caught my attention was the fact that he challenged the audience, in his presentation, to contribute to a good cause by simply “liking” a social cause on Facebook, re-tweeting something that your favourite politician said or joining an organization in your community on Facebook.

In my opinion, these are certainly easy tasks that we could all do to help where help is needed, and that is why I was highly receptive to his challenge. As a result, I, for one, had already accepted Christian’s challenge awhile ago when I joined Volunteer Richmond Information Services as well as WWF Canada Facebook pages. By being a part of these great non-profit organizations online, I am able to view all the latest news, events and fundraisers to see if there are ways for me to contribute. And given that I am a Canadian and a Richmond resident, there are definitely strong motives for me to help Richmond and Canada to become a better city and nation, respectively! Also, I have recently begun following @letsfcancer, which is a charity that seeks to raise awareness about early detection for cancer. By following @letsfcancer, I am able to learn about signs of cancer, donate to fundraisers and re-tweeting things that I think my friends should know about. And by engaging in these activities, I am confident that I am utilizing social media in a positive way.

And since I have accepted the challenge posed by Christian, I am now challenging all SFU students and staffs to do the same by “liking” a community page on Facebook or by following a non-profit organization on Twitter and re-tweeting their messages! I believe that everyone can contribute just a little bit to a social cause that will be beneficial to the lives of thousands or even millions of people around the world! 

Posted on May 05, 2012