Tag Archives: social issues

How we use social media could make or break us

I got a haircut recently, and my hairdresser and I had a big old whinge together about how Facebook has become a nasty place that sometimes makes us hate the world, a little bit.

I’m the first to say I generally enjoy social media. I use it and value it – there are clearly so many benefits; for connecting people and communities, for sharing a range of views and ideas, and even for supporting social change. Two years ago I wrote about how social media campaigns can have an impact, by influencing social networks on issues like same-sex marriage, through simple mechanisms like the rainbow profile picture campaign. How sad, by the way, that two years later we STILL aren’t there, Australia…

But it feels like a nastier place lately. The comments sections on Facebook particularly, have always been fraught, but now they seem soul-sucking, showcasing the worst of our tendencies towards blame, spite, and an inability to consider other viewpoints. It’s like the new outlet for road-rage. Continue reading

Another first world problem

daffodil

Like many other people, I frequently find myself hugely conflicted: between the everyday going-ons of middle-class Australian life, and the deep pain and suffering experienced by so many around the world, but particularly at the moment, those refugees fleeing parts of the middle east. This is most apparent in my Facebook newsfeed, which is scattered with healthy recipes, Buzzfeed quizzes and updates from my friends’ lives – all vertically juxtaposed against images and stories of drowned children and families. Very few people who saw it were not affected by the devastating photo of 3 year old Aylan Kurdi, who drowned with his 5 year old brother, Galip, and their mother. As a mother of little boys, and just as a human being – I cried a lot. Continue reading

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