Social media proves its worth

Published 4:33 pm Friday, January 30, 2015

Like most things in life, technology is what we make of it.

Sure, computers don’t always work like we want them to, and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter will inevitably be used in ways that aren’t productive.

In addition to giving people an avenue for wasting valuable time, social media sites offer a platform for anyone and everyone to share their thoughts and opinions with a broad audience.

As a staunch proponent of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution–the rights to free speech and the freedom of the press are the reasons we’re in business–I would never suggest that being able to share one’s opinions is a bad thing, but even I can admit that most of what is put out there on Facebook has little value.

People use the site to feud with one another, propagate misinformation and worse.

But Facebook can also have great value when used wisely. A good example was when administrators of the Clanton Police Department’s page posted on Wednesday that they were searching for a suspect who allegedly passed counterfeit currency at a local business.

Images taken by a surveillance camera were included in the post, and Facebook commenters quickly identified the suspect, leading to an arrest less than hour later.

Counterfeiting equipment was recovered during a search of his residence. These commenters can revel in the fact that they helped police prevent counterfeited currency from being circulated, a situation that could cause nightmares for businesspeople and residents alike.

So, the next time you’re scrolling through your news feed and think to yourself that Facebook is a waste of time, remind yourself that it can serve a purpose, and keep on scrolling…as long as you’re not at work.

–Stephen Dawkins is managing editor for The Clanton Advertiser