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Elena: Hello, my name is Elena. I'm 14 years old and I'm from Ruse in Bulgaria. My question is, what are the benefits of social media? This question is important to me because a lot of people consider social media unhealthy.
Joe: We see it all the time. There's loads of stories around about how bad social media is for us and how large parts of our lives are in the hands of a few massive companies.
I'm Cybersecurity Reporter at the BBC, which means that a big part of my job is holding these big companies to account. I spend a lot of time looking at the negative sides of social media and I pretty much take the positives for granted. So getting this question is actually really good for me because it can remind me of all the good things that have come about since social media was invented.
I grew up in a time before social media. Not quite that long ago! We still had mobile phones and the internet, but it wasn't quite like it is now. Everything was much slower and much more difficult. People still mainly communicated by phone call, which means that if you made plans, you had to stick to them. Or you could leave your mate waiting in the rain.
And now we're more connected than ever. Most of us are spending time every day with our friends online and sharing our lives with people across the world. If you're feeling isolated or lonely or if you feel like there's something you need help with, you can find a community through social media who can share their experiences and help you out. All this communication can lead to a greater understanding of each other and also bring some real change. It's hard to imagine something like the climate strike movement spreading as far or as fast as it has, without social media. It helped amplify the voice of a 15-year-old activist in Sweden, so she's been heard around the world. And there are some pretty direct benefits too.
Tools have been made that encourage people to make the world around them better, whether that's by giving money, telling your friends and family you're safe or by donating blood. In fact, this alone has led to more than 50 million people becoming blood donors around the world, literally life savers.
So, there really are some great benefits to social media but it's still really new. These apps are emerging technologies and when things affect the way that we live and work and do things as much as social media has, it takes a long time to work out what the knock-on effects could be. It's probably up to the next generation to work through some of these problems and hopefully, if they do a good job, we'll be talking a lot more about the positive sides of social media in the future.
For you, what are the positives of social media?