— Charleston Southern (@CSUNIV) June 25, 2015
Social media has been reshaping our world since networks like Myspace and MSN Messenger became daily exchanges for anyone with a home dial-up internet connection in the early 2000s. Now these social networks are in our pockets wherever we go, and millennials are known to have few news sources other than their Facebook pages and twitter accounts.
Our interacting with not only other people, but with the events of life itself has fundamentally changed. There is no denying the amazing power of social media not only on our marketing initiatives, but on the most personal aspects of our lives. For this reason the digital media website, Mashable, devoted a day of celebration back in 2010, and dubbed it Social Media Day. This year events will take place around the globe lauding and educating communities on the power and significance of this new tool and way of experiencing life.
It is with a lingering heaviness of heart that Charleston will gather the evening of Tuesday, June 30th at The Alley to celebrate Social Media Day and our local community pros. In the past few weeks the power of various social networks was tried and proven in the wake of the terrible events of the shooting at the Emmanuel AME Church. There is truly no better time to appreciate our community of active users than right after seeing the way social media facilitated a community’s uniting in the wake of tragedy.
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) June 24, 2015
Immediately following the shooting, the public was kept abreast of the situation and cautioned with safety measures. The news spread around the nation and world, with news sources and individuals praying and offering words of encouragement to our community under hashtags like #CharlestonStrong and #CharlestonShooting. After being thrust into a state of mourning and fear, there was yet a sense of hope to hang onto.
An event that was planned to bring about hate and war, sparked only unity and love throughout the Charleston community, which was united through social media memes and viral posts encouraging one another on in peace and forgiveness. Events to display a strengthened community continue to take place around town, from a peace march across the Ravenel Bridge that attracted thousands, to over 200 people showing up at the same AME Bible Study that was under siege just a week before.
While there has been much debate around the motivations for the shooting and the public policies stemming off these ideas, Charleston has been reminded in this time that while politics, race and religion are prone to keep us asking questions of our neighbors, when the time of need comes we are a people united. Charleston’s Social Media Day celebration will be one more chance to commemorate the beauty of a community united by technology, and offer yet another reason for us love what we do here at Q4Launch.