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June 30, Social Media Day, is a reminder that the world is watching, and what you do shapes more than yourself; it shapes the world around you

MANILA, Philippines – Social media is a thing of wonder, but it should also inspire change. 

A 2011 American Psychological Association article noted that social media can have an isolating effect on people, increasing a person’s troubles with adjusting to life offline. At the same time, social media is also a means of connecting with people from around the world, people we can get close to even if we aren’t physically there with them. 

We understand it all too well when someone we care about dies, and sometimes, the only way we can express our sorrow is by commiserating online with our fellow online friends. We also see it clearly in the joyous exclamations of those who have given birth, with the promise of baby pictures and happier moments along the way.

What you share with the world has its own effects, whether it’s the good things you do to try and cheer a friend up or the hilarious, irresponsible selfies you take of your drunken moments. 

Social media is all about that – and more. It’s also about the rise of the Arab Spring or the demonstrations for Occupy Wall Street, as well as the terrorist messages of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

These social media ripples can change lives for the good or ill. You can brighten up a person’s day, or you could just as easily throw libelous sentiments around. You can spark meaningful conversations, or you could just as easily foment hatred.

Social Media Day, June 30, is a reminder that social media can help us to be social to a world beyond us, but it can also blind us to the good things we have right in front of us. That it can help us to be better than ourselves, but only if we realize that being better than ourselves also means stepping out of the comfort zone of just being online.

Whatever you choose to do, remember that social media is not just about self-expression. It’s also a reminder that the world is watching, and what you do shapes more than yourself; it shapes the world around you. – Rappler.com

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