If you were to take a look at the state of the NFL today, it looks like a school bully who got beat up by a group of school kids. The issues with crime, including domestic violence and child abuse, went silent for years until social media allowed us all to voice our distaste. If fact, our voices were so loud, that even huge corporate sponsors like Radisson Inns and McDonald's either detached themselves with the league or threatened to do so. Even beer giants like Anheuser Busch made their opinion of the league public, embarrassing the once untouchable NFL to the point that they were forced to make changes.
This was and is a prime example of social media's new and positive role in the world -- a weapon for [lots of] everyday people to change the way that corporations and even governments do business without consequences.
We are all aware of how big corporations do whatever they feel like, and assume that they will never get caught, never get in trouble. Until social media came around, we were all forced to accept whatever suffering we knew was coming our way. Corporations would hide crimes from the public to keep themselves clean and avoid punishment. Everything from violence in the workplace, to dumping toxic chemicals and tax evasion were held in secret, with company leaders laughing all the way to the bank.
Governments were also doing bad things without being held accountable. Unlawful police violence, public officials who lied, cheated, and stole from the public, and shady accounting of public monies, all went without nary a slap on the wrist.
But social media provides us all with the channel, the avenue, and the collective voice, to make these issues heard. No longer can governments and corporations ignore us or avoid our wrath. No longer can they step on our rights or our opinions without the entire world knowing. Social media, once thought of as a cute way to connect to old friends, has become the scourge that threatens the way the corporations and governments do business.
The NFL domestic violence drama is just a drop in the bucket of what social media is capable of. We as a society now have within our grasp a way to join together to fight the wrong doings made by those who think they are invincible. Social media is becoming our collective Superman -- who can leap tall corporate obstacles in a single bound, protect the meek, and bring criminals to justice.
We need to continue using social media in its new role as a means to provide justice to those who, by themselves, do not have a voice loud enough to be heard. We can bring to light all of the problems that, in the past, were ignored by corporations and governments, because they had the ability to shut us all up. No more.
Social media is not just for friending anymore...