With over 2.41 billion active monthly users Facebook is the biggest social network in the world. It’s meteoric rise from Harvard University student network to global behemoth makes it arguably the original social media site. Its goal was always to connect its users and the acquisition of Instagram in 2012 furthered its global reach.
Connecting people is ultimately the aim of social media and this is a positive thing. In a world of phone numbers, email addresses and even home addresses that you don’t know, or have long forgotten, the ability to find someone with just a name is easy. Then you can send a message and catch up, whether they be old school friends, colleagues, next door neighbours or family you didn’t know existed.
There is a philanthropic and altruistic side to social media too. Campaigns are launched online regularly, whether it is a something as life saving as proton beam therapy, or as difficult as getting a dying man to see Avengers Endgame pre-release. The reach and power of these campaigns mean that by the time they make headlines they are already well known with hundreds of thousands of supporters. Its not all campaigns though. Its people raising money for causes close to their heart, people running for cancer research, people crossing an island for a local hospice, or bathing in baked beans for comic relief. This ability to share fundraising stories and help a huge range of causes is a positive aspect of social media.