Does #prayfortheworld make a change?

Social media campaigns help to let the whole world know and speak about something. I believe most of you know #prayfortheworld trend on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Only on Instagram this hash tag has 651,560 posts. This is a great example of how tragic event goes viral. When tragedy happens social media makes most of the people aware of what happened, but also allows people voicing their opinions through the platforms. We become all interlinked, therefore get affected somehow. #Prayforthewolrd is “a mass demonstration of grief and hope”.

Such an online reaction is supported by some users, but is rejected by  the others. Some users use the hash tag as the endorsement of prayer, but others feel like this passive action is pointless and that people should make change differently. Social media users do not only use hashtags, but also illustrations to show support for the victims. After yesterday’s Brussels attack, people have also shown solidarity online. They launched the following hash tag #ikwillhelpen, which means “I will help” in order to “offer lifts and even places to stay to anyone in need following the bombings today

I believe that using social media not to just spread the word, but to offer shelter for instance actually helps people, rather than just generates buzz. What is your opinion on the use of social media during those terrific events?

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5 Comments

  1. I feel somewhat conflicted about the use of social media during and after traumatic events happen. On one hand, I appreciate the fact that people want to express their support for those affected by tragedies even when they can’t do anything to help. On the other hand, I think that the ability to tweet a hashatg sometimes prevents people from thinking about what they actually CAN do to help during times of crisis. For example, yesterday a couple of the people I follow on Twitter created posts offering to accompany anyone who felt unsafe or threatened as a result of the Brussels attacks – particularly Muslim neighbours and acquaintances who feared that others would treat them with hatred and disrespect. Even if you can’t do anything to help those directly affected by a tragedy, you can still use social media to help those experiencing the negative affects of that tragedy’s aftermath.

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  2. I think that when speaking about tragic events as social campaign it is very tricky because on one side you only may see what is on social media do not go futher and research on what happend. Like for example the most viewed stories are the ones about brussels but many people do not know about other countries which are affected as well. On the other side the fact that people come toghether to help, moving from social media to real life i thibk is one of the best advantages of social media and the way it has formed a community.

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  3. The hashtag #prayfortheworld I would argue does make a change. The reason for this is because it brings attention to those that are unaware of what has happened, it also creates a community of a common ground where we sympathise for the people that are going through such things. And that’s an advantage with social media, because it allows us to publicly show our condolences. Also things like this will want people to take action to help and to also actually pray for those that were involved in the Brussel attack and other breaking news instances that has happened in the past.

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  4. I think the trending hashtag #PrayForTheWorld makes awareness and does make a difference but not a huge one. Like for the Paris attacks people changing their profile pictures to the French flag, people are doing the same for The Brussel attacks. The world is creating awareness and lighting up there famous landmarks but nothing is actually been done to help and solve the situation. I think it’s a beautiful thing that the world can come together as one to support another country and to create the awareness. This may influence some people to do charity work to make a more of a physical difference to the situation but if there was always around it to create money to support the people in that suffering , it would be more beneficial. Four example for every person that changes their profile picture to the French flag or the Belgian flag, They donate 1 pound to that cause?

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  5. I didn’t know that social media has been used for not only delivering information but also the active support during the tragic events. I think this could be the one of the examples which social media is used for actual support.
    After I read your blog, I was thinking why people use social media. If they use it as a communication tool, supporting someone might mean they need to progress to the next stage called real support and do something beyond social media. While some people might be onlookers after seeing posts on social media, some people might actually take action. I personally believe that more people know what is happening in the world, more people might act. In this respect, social media has a great power to change the world. However, I think not everyone would do something to deal with problems and there is a limitation on social media to some extent. I am wondering how we can change the limitation, even just a little.

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