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Everyone has their own opinions about social media these days. Whether it’s thought of as a distraction or a successful promotional tool, social media has made its mark. But have we ever considered social media as a life saver?

Today, at the University of Texas, a gunman opened fire on the campus before shooting himself. While catching some of this on the news, I noticed a lot of students who were interviewed placed an emphasis on hearing about the incident and being informed not to attend class or visit campus. How did they get this information? Through the use of UT’s school website, email, and alert text messages. In this case, social media prevailed and possibly saved lives. This isn’t the first time social media has come through in serious situations. The University of Alabama also uses emails and alert text messages to make faculty and students aware of severe weather and class cancelations.

In all similar cases, social media tactics have been successful in making others aware, while looking out for the greater good of the public. Now when we look at social media like this, does it seem so bad? In my opinion, I don’t think either university could have reached their target audience in any other way successfully. With the fast paced times we live in, social media has practically become the only way to reach people on the go. So when judging social media, we should recognize that the positives outweigh the negatives.