What Social Media Has Taught Me About Human Nature
I often hear (and use) the expression, “It’s just human nature,” to explain things away. You know what I’m talking about…things such as angry outbursts, laziness, forgetfulness, denial, bloodthirstiness. Hmm, do you see a pattern emerging here? When you think about it, human nature seems rather negative. Indeed, social media has taught me a lot about how often people tend to gravitate towards the negatives, at least on the main social platforms. Well, it’s just human nature, right?
I’m personally an eternal optimist, even to the point where some people have expressed their annoyance with my attitude. “Take your head out of the sand,” or “You need to face the facts,” they tell me. Trust me, I do (and I always will) have my feet firmly planted in reality, but it doesn’t mean I need to become bitter or jaded by it.
I know this to be true: Being optimistic and being clueless are not the same. I fully recognize how social media glorifies and encourages the negative side of human nature. However, I can honestly say that social media, itself, teaches me that human nature has a very positive side, too.
I came across this meme recently and posted it to my business Facebook page:
This meme really resonated with me. And it taught me this about human nature: Although we are often quite captivated by the negatives in our lives, we still desperately need to hold on to glimmers of hope. We want to know that everything’s going to be “alright,” or at least a little better.
Social media has the power to help us “accentuate the positives.”
Without a doubt, social media influences our behaviors and our thoughts. Whether we want to admit to this fact is a different story. Every day, I come across examples which prove how social media appeals makes us better as human beings, and brings out the good side of our human nature. People demonstrate their “goodness” as they share and/or make encouraging comments on emotional social media posts. And I see how positive begets positive.
Think about all the times when people flock to social media during times of crisis.
I continuously learn lessons from my Twitter and Facebook feeds during times of crisis. Social media fills me in on the events themselves, while simultaneously teaching me more about the good side of human nature, in how people react to the crises. Whether it’s an event happening on the other side of the world, or within my private circle of friends and family, I see firsthand how social media appeals to our empathetic side, as well as the need for comfort and unity. Most of us want to get involved and help those in need, and social media provides us with the perfect outlet to do so. Sharing is caring, and it’s invaluable for raising awareness. In my opinion, these events illustrate human nature at its best.
These are examples of how people use social media to raise awareness, both international and local:
People from all over the world are tweeting #BringBackOurGirls to protest the senseless abduction of young girls in Nigeria:
— AmnestyInternational (@AmnestyOnline) May 7, 2014
This one is currently happening in my “own backyard.” It’s also gaining worldwide attention. A young girl from Plano, Texas, loved the band, One Direction. She was ecstatic after scoring tickets to the band’s concert in the Dallas area for her birthday this coming August. Sadly, Nicole passed away from Type 1 Diabetes on the first Saturday of May. Her sister took to social media, specifically Twitter, with a request to the boy band: to dedicate a song to her sister at the concert she had planned to attend.
This tweet went viral. Millions of people are rapidly spreading the message to ask One Direction to #SingForNicole:
— 103.7 KVIL (@1037KVIL) May 7, 2014
I personally love this side of human nature, don’t you? What has social media taught you about human nature? Please feel free to leave comments below – I’d love to hear your thoughts.