Social media: A platform for change makers

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In the 21st century, dramatic changes are occurring very quickly, changes that have had a significant impact on the way we live and communicate. And perhaps no other organ of information is as powerful as the emergence of social media.

Social media is a very commanding tool to promote positive change that helps develop our economy and elevate the social fabric. As the Kingdom is progressing toward Vision 2030, we are witnessing various social reforms, most notably the royal decree permitting the issuing of drivers licenses to women. Freeing women to drive has opened vast horizons to previously shuttered women.

In essence, we feel encouraged that we are transitioning to a modern lifestyle, and we can use social media platforms to take part in the advancement of our socio-economic system.

Every social issue requires our collective effort in raising awareness, issues like equality for women, quality of education, and driving ethics need to be included in our daily conversations. This in effect will impact public opinion and will inspire individuals to become social entrepreneurs and thought leaders.

To help facilitate this change, social media serves as a platform that empowers people to tackle social issues while creating their own content. It is the participatory culture of social media that enables change makers to have a positive impact on society.

A great local example is Khalid Al Khudair, CEO of Glowork Company, who is dedicated to helping Saudi women develop skills and gain knowledge. By searching for the hashtag #Glowork on Twitter, you will find many women sharing their thoughts and success stories about engaging with the organization. The company’s Twitter account, @Glowork, has 38,500 followers. Such an aspiring initiative influences the lives of thousands of women who are now experiencing an essential change in Saudi culture and without a doubt, there will be more progress.

Social media is like a market for conversations. One story through a picture or a tweet can spark a discussion about a social issue. An organization that embodies this perspective is Zahra Association, a community whose sole purpose is to raise awareness and support patients suffering from breast cancer. Their Twitter account @zahra_ksa has 37,700 followers.

Taking Zahra Association as an example, we can build communities that support positive change. This will drive change makers to get involved in organizations where they can contribute to society and connect with other change makers to accelerate change and make a difference in the lives of many.

We must realize that our behavior in our daily lives shapes our behavior on social media. As we search for opportunities to spread positivity, we can learn about events taking place or educate ourselves with the information available on social media. Better yet, we can create our own content through the use of hashtags or creating profiles that support a good cause.

Nevertheless, our efforts in every aspect of society should be directed toward achieving Vision 2030. This will, therefore, encourage us to not only contribute to changing the social fabric but to try to build a lasting change.

The author can be reached at talmaeena@aol.com. Follow him on Twitter @talmaeena


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