Facebook is called a ‘country of its own’, and rightly so, seeing that it has over 2 billion active monthly users. The global influence which it attracts has the potential to bring down governments. It has the capability to intertwine the global community as one and stand together in solidarity. As much as there is hate, there have been numerous occasions when users of Facebook have formed digital communities, which have stood together against all odds.
During the Paris attacks of 2015, the world came together in solidarity, sharing the peace symbol, which had an Eiffel Tower in it. It was only after the upsetting image of the Syrian boy emerged and was widely shared on Facebook and other social media that the world woke up to the crisis in Syria.
Social media platforms like Facebook connect you with people who leave an impact on you. You don’t know these people and will perhaps never meet them. Facebook pages such as Humans of New York, consists of photo stories of people from diverse backgrounds in different parts of New York. It started of as a photoblog but perhaps the major success for its popularity is the existence of the Facebook page. This project became an international phenomenon and it has garnered over 18 million ‘likes’ and has spread its wings across books and a video series. It leaves people with a sense of connect and reinstills the faith that we all are the same. The outreach of this page has altered numerous lives. Another act of solidarity is the presence of the page Artidote, a community storytelling platform which uses art as its medium. The reach of this page even prevented a girl from committing suicide.
Yes, we need a solution to the excessive amounts of online hate and degradation and the simplest is to just not indulge in it ourselves. If we all use this platform as a space of no judgement, as a space to share, if we just concentrate on spreading love, I am sure that all this would help negate the not-so-nice aspects, and maybe, little by little, make internet a safer, kinder place.