The feelings of total outrage over the shootings in Newtown ignited the respond “I need to do something!” But what? Personally I found the Social Media platform helped me unite with strangers. This is what I see as “The Good” part of social media, the ability to connect with family, friends and even strangers over an issue that is to fathom.
I sincerely believe the prayers that were posted on social media; the messages the families received from thousands of people who truly cared did make a difference. If any of the messages can help even a small part in the healing the families, the friends, the children and the town of Newtown, then social media is Good.
With any “Good” tool, there are going to be people who use it for “The Bad!” Not only does social media spread bad reports quicker than a wildfire, once out there I rarely see apologies or explanations of the real story! First I read that Adam Lanza’s mother was a teacher at Sandy Hook. That more or less gave an explanation for why he targeted the school. Now, in an article from CNN, I read that isn’t even the case. However, I cannot find any information as to where this woman worked. Which, if she did not work at the elementary school, why did Adam go there? I guess it just made for a logical story. Bad information is reported and then it drops. I have an entire library of “Bad” information that was circulating during the elections, but that’s old news already!
And then there is of course “The Ugly!” I think we all read or even watched as the wrong man was accused of this hideous crime. Ryan Lanza also had to endure the hate “tweets’ that were circulating about him. And what now, once that bell is rung, it is pretty hard to un-ring it. Learning that your mother has been murdered, by your brother, along with 26 other innocent people is tragic. It may have taken him years to come to terms with this, on his own time, his “private” journey. Not anymore. He was publicly charged and convicted.
As the stories unfold I would hope that we all use Social Media in a responsible way.