Before and Now

Posted by hlaverty on December 10, 2009

The Huffington Post has a great and humorous article by Johann Hari called, ” Has The Internet Brought Us Together—Or Pulled Us Apart?”

The article, as you can tell by its title, discusses the pros and cons of the internet. From the connections we can make with others, such as on social media sites to the hours we lose spending time on it. However, I want to discuss something he doesn’t really mention, how social media affects social good.

As Hari writes and history shows, people had to write everything out, by hand; And for people to even read what others wrote, they had to travel hundreds of thousands of miles sometimes to access it. Then, print came about, revolutionizing the way people could access information, at the time. People discovered things that they may not have known otherwise.

Ogranizations even took to print, creating pamphlets and newsletters, reaching new audiences.

In this day of age, the internet has once again revolutionized how we access information and how we connect with others through social media.

Hari mentions social media as a way to meet a partner, reconnect with people from your past or even how it connects people through a common interest. All true and fascinating. I am still amazed how I can stay connected with my friends all over the world without picking up my phone or sending a letter in the mail.

But social media also creates and assists social goods. Social media has allowed nonprofits and people to reach audiences on a much larger scale than print. Take a look at what happened in Minnesota on their “Give To The Max Day”, $14 million raised all through the use of social media.

Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are just among the many social media sites that allow organizations to interact with others. Youtube is filled with videos of people volunteering and videos showing results of their work. Facebook is filled with organizations helping different causes, such as Feeding America. Organizations can now even place a fundraising application on thier Facebook pages called Boundless Fundraising.

There has even been surveys done stating social media is more effective for organizing than traditional media for nonprofits.

Social media, hate it or love it, it proves day after day its impact on the world and the good it can do by helping others.


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