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Social media has been around for the best part of 23 years. Whilst social media has evolved over these years, for example being used by businesses to market and sell their products, and for communities to grow remotely, how much has it really changed more recently? 
If you cast your mind back to the tragic death of Caroline Flack earlier this year, you may recall the quote ‘In a world where you can be anything, be kind’. Her death triggered response from the media and on social platforms, we saw waves of celebrities and even your average person post images to remember what a beautiful soul she was. Social media was used as a way of showing sadness over her death, as well as a way of demanding change. We dedicated a blog to urge people not to be a D**k online. 
 
As much as social media is a place for us to demand change, change needs to happen on social media. We see daily how social media is being used for hate, racism, political bias, and overall there is an overwhelming lack of respect for others opinions. This is the WRONG way to be using social media. 
Recently, we have seen protests that have spanned the world due to George Floyd being killed at the hands of four police officers in Minnesota, US. The way social media has responded has been astronomical. We’ve seen petitions standing up for various injustices and calling for fairer treatment of the BAME community. We’ve seen footage calling out other people who are against the #BlackLivesMatter movement in an attempt to make them realise the consequences of their actions.  
 
We saw #BlackOutTuesday when people posted black squares and took the day off self-promotion in order to raise awareness of the racism that is, and always has been, present in society. But, the best thing to come of the social media posts is lists of where people can learn about racism. 
Recent examples of how social media is being used are with Brexit Leave VS Remain. Social media was used to shape the referendum campaign, with more than 7.5 million Brexit-related tweets in the month preceding the Referendum. Whatever opinion you have on politics, is social media the place to show political bias? The hate and aggression towards individuals with different beliefs at this time forces us to question if social media really is beneficial in these circumstances. 
Every individual in this world is entitled to their own opinion and entitled to voice it, however, there needs to be education on understanding that not everyone has the same opinion, and when someone does have different beliefs, we should not shame them or respond in anger but should respond with understanding. 
 
Social media is an incredible tool for education, informing and sharing and a brilliant channel for making a difference, but what it needs to be is a safe place where opinions and decisions are met with respect. 
 
 
See our simple guide to how we should and should not be using social media. We would also love to start a discussion on how you think social media should be used VS how it is currently being used. 
 
Referring back to Black Lives matter, we urge you to take just a few hours of each week to educate yourself on the racial issues that BAME people have been facing their entire lives. Nobody is perfect but let’s strive to be as close to perfect as possible. 
 
You can find lots of useful resources HERE. 
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