We live in an Insta-famous famous world where videos can go viral within minutes – for good and not so such good reasons. A Jewish boys choir went viral a few months ago but so did the anti-Semitic ranting of a disgraced secular celebrity. There is inherent danger in being able to share things freely with the entire world. I once heard from a law enforcement official that the first thing they do when investigating an individual is to check their social media, because that’s where they’re able to get a good understanding of the person.
Social media is a stage where anyone at all can express their opinions and share the minutiae of their lives. The danger is exactly that – opening social media is opening a Pandora’s box of views and opinions that can build the world or harm it. It can promote growth or reverse it. It can foster tolerance or hate.
In a way, social media is just another broadcasting platform. Before its advent, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, z”l, used the BBC platform to impact the greater public with his lectures. The Lubavitcher Rebbe, zt”l, used to broadcast his sermons. Any means of reaching the public can be channeled in a positive way if it’s utilized by the right people.
As deep winter sets in, many of us spend more time in our homes, almost inevitably turning more frequently to our (hopefully filtered) phones and devices. Let’s be conscious of what we choose to view and share with the world, using every platform in our lives as a means of spreading positive inspiration.