The good work of social media

Published 12:21 am Sunday, January 18, 2015

Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram — there are many social media outlets on which people are spending more and more time. Studies have shown that social media can reduce actual social interaction and in a society that stays indoors more and already has less interaction with those outside of their own social groups, that’s not a good thing.

Social media has also led to the rise in online bullying, by both adults and children. Just look at the comments on any given news organization’s websites and what can often be found are racist, homophobic, misogynistic, and generally abusive comments, the sole purpose of which is to make someone angry — to poke a stick at a hornet’s nest, without the risk of a single sting.

But it’s not all bad, certainly. In fact, there are many good things that come from social media. People find out who’s playing at events like Music in the Streets; they base where they’re eating out on the specials a restaurant posts on Facebook. And in Beaufort County, another entity is using Facebook to its maximum potential.

Bright Futures is doing a lot of good in the community. Its goal is step in to meet the needs of students who are lacking — be it school supplies or clothing that fits school standards — by matching up the request for items with those who are in a position to find them. A teacher or counselor recognizes the need and lets it be known, and that’s often via Facebook.

Last week, Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Catherine Glover and Business Manager Robin McKeithan told Washington (evening) Rotary members about some of the successes the chamber program has achieved.

A child needed a humidifier and the need was posted on Facebook. Within 12 hours a humidifier had been delivered to the school. A young child had no bedroom furniture and the need was posted on Facebook. A local company donated a mattress and box spring and others donated bedding, pillows and other furniture.

Those are just two examples of many good deeds.

What better way can Facebook be used than getting the word out when people, especially children, are in need? As a vehicle for community activism? To make the lives of neighbors better?

The word is out now: that Bright Futures is having an impact, and it’s one that anyone can participate in. Instead of hurling insults from behind the computer screen, here’s the chance to hurl some help instead. Follow Bright Futures on Facebook.