Life Saving Social Media

By Heather Kilby
Wikimedia via Creative Commons

Wikimedia via Creative Commons

Yes I said it. Social Networks truly do save lives. Many people ridicule social media as drama-ridden and wasteful of time. Certainly it has proven to be a bit of both, but I want to play the devil’s advocate here. Has anyone ever considered the convenience and public nature social media possesses as a positive thing?

Think about the lives it has possibly saved by children threatening to harm other students at school the next day by taking part in the bullying epidemic or even school shootings. Think about the way social media allows society to stay in immediate communication with breaking news and with their long-distance family and friends.

Social media has saved suicide attempts from happening and can help keep people updated in emergency disaster-type situations with a constant breaking news feed readily available 24/7.
Think about this recent 6-minute shameful video of an 11-year-old boy being beaten by his mother and grandmother with a belt over 60 times because of a video he posted on Facebook promoting how “gangster” he is. They were seeking punishment and apparently wanted to teach him a lesson. Ironically those same abusive women posted their cruel video on Facebook directly following, the same social network that he was being beaten about.

Now I know this does not seem to be a positive scenario, but look at the bigger picture. Yes this boy will be ashamed and it is unknown at this time whether his household status will change and CPS could possibly decide his fate at this point, but this could have been the best thing for this child. He could possibly be taken out of this situation and put into a life of better treatment, love, and role-models. He could have needed this type of publicity of that abuse, because something tells me that this was not the first time he had encountered this type of abuse.

The way people react when they witness the things they see on social media enables word to travel quickly and this could well in fact have been a blessing in disguise.
Now I know there are many other factors at hand with this case, but in a shortened perspective here, I feel this social media mayhem may have changed his life forever, for the better. If social media did not exist, he would most likely continue to live a life of abuse and shame.

What are your thoughts on the greater good social networks can bring to society? Do you think that social media saved this boys’ life? Why or why not?

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4 responses to “Life Saving Social Media

  1. Unfortunately, the anonymity that social media can allow makes it easier for children to be bullied. Cyberbullying didn’t exist until MySpace and AIM and it hasn’t stopped. There were several instances this past year where rumors about a shooter on a college campus were spread via social media, but the rumors were not true (like at the University of Oklahoma). While I’m sure plenty of people saw the horrendous video of the little boy, did anyone do anything about it? Or did they just passively scroll past, or like a page about stopping the mother, like the Kony 2012 situation?
    I’ve seen instances where social media does good (when criminals post about what they stole or that they were driving drunk), but I also recognize the bad that it can do. Which side is stronger?

  2. I agree and disagree with you. I think this kid will probably have a better life after all of that happened thanks to social media, but I also think a lot of kids are being bullied through social media. This is a hard topic to choose one side because it depends on the case. I am sure social media has saved lives and I think one of the reasons is that you can talk to people who is not with you at anytime and that might help people who is going through a bad time but I´ve heard of too many cases where kids are being bullied in these platforms and receiving all kind of threats through social media. I don´t know where the good and the bad sides of social media are but I´m sure this is making a lot of people suffer at the same time that is helping others.

  3. Don’t get me wrong, I know that there are many negative results of social media such as cyber bullying. I was merely trying to shed light on the fact that because of this video, the abusers were apprehended and now facing charges because of it. I think that it is definitely a catch-22. I for once wanted to take the positive side of social media and demonstrate the good it possesses rather than only discuss the bad.

  4. I agree that there are definite benefits to social media. It is a great news source. I get most of my news from following news sites on Twitter and Facebook. Scrolling through a timeline or newsfeed that contains news from various sources is a lot more convenient than going to each website separately. I know that a lot of my friends do the same, and a more informed society is a definite positive.
    As far as this boy goes, I agree with you that this could have potentially saved his life. It’s similar, to the post I did about the cancer survivor who was shamed in Self Magazine. In both cases, although the particular publicity was bad (this boy seen being beater and the survivor being made fun of) the end result (the boy getting out of a bad situation and the survivor’s foundation benefitting) was positive.

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