Something that is very common on social media sites is the scathing of social media. All too many times I have seen on Facebook people complaining through ‘viral’ photos about the fact that Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and everything else in the social media bucket is destroying our communication skills and our ability to be social in general. While this, in some basic social situations is true, it doesn’t mean that social media isn’t doing its job and more, particularly outside of the internet.
Take, for example, I F*cking Love Science, the science lovers equivalent of heaven. Elise Andrew has created a community brought together by a love of all science, mathematics and other great things via jokes, news and discussions. It has grown to an amazing 14 million likes on Facebook alone, and has expanded its margins into other social websites like YouTube and Twitter. It’s created its own merchandise and has its own website for all things science that is going on in the world. It is a global community celebrating the amazing endeavours of the human race pursuing its wonders, and it brings people together.
How do I know this? I bought a T-shirt from their store and it got to my house yesterday. So, naturally going into town today I wore it, and low and behold someone struck up a conversation about IFLS because of this recognition of community. Without social media, this would never have happened. Social media, although notorious for distracting people, has provided another method of extending the social capabilities of the human race to create a community of science lovers, along with others like doctor who fans, anime fans, sports fans, technology fans, basically anything under the sun. Sure, social media had its pitfalls but without it the world wouldn’t be able to show support for anything on such a global basis, it truly has created a medium to bring people together in a way impossible 30 years ago.