The legendary media theory, Cultivation, originally argued that increased consumption of television viewing would not only influence audiences’ behaviors but also create the “mean world syndrome”. Generally speaking, heavy television viewers would be exposed to more media violence, and in return, they perceived the world as a more dangerous place. However, is the case still standing after social media accelerated the media revolution?
Gen Y and younger might be the group of people who have hooked themselves up with screens for a prolong period of time since their teens or younger. Children who were born after 2000 even have a faster rate of becoming more civilized with new media technologies. While adults are concerned with how new media will pre-mature their children and other dangerous online behaviors, such as addiction and cyber bullying, there are many more examples to give us hope of that social media can be used as a tool for a better world.
A high school student, Tim, who was diagnosed with cancer returned after a successful treatment, but the school refused to put him back into the basketball team. Other students started to protest and launched an online campaign #LetTimePlay to support Tim, and finally, Tim returned to the court where he belongs.
In this hour, there are many professional consultants and media experts are pulling off their hair to design successful online campaigns and carry them out in an effective manner. Those students who stood behind Tim proved the strong and beautiful friendship as well as their potentials to be much better media users for a cause when they grow up. Indeed, hopes of how social media make the human society stronger and better can be seen, and are not fictional.