Politicians have been theorising for decades about how to increase political awareness and involvement as turnout to elections have steadily decreased in the last 40 years. Traditional media have not engaged the younger voters, 18-30, however over the last 5 years this has changed......
I don't know. Make us better human beings? We spend so much time in front of a computer these days, less time interacting with one another. The other day I went downtown to The Village here in New York. That place was once a thriving hub of social interaction (mostly counter-culture). There were definitely people milling about the streets, and lots of traffic, but the folks who were in the parks were seemed to be primarily preoccupied with one mobile device or another. Cell phones, tablets, laptops.
The obverse of course is that it's made us aware of certain issues we might not otherwise have taken note of, we can "meet" folks in other countries, the point you make above, and more.
I think as with anything, a lot depends on how social media is used. In an ideal world, it would be good for people to be able to talk face to face with each other. There's no doubt that approach builds your social skills. However, having said that, social media allows you to make your 'local' community, global. Things change. There's no way that the Village could ever remain the same. All you can do is to ensure that the interaction that does occur, whether it be with or without social media, is positive.
Is there anything social media can't improve? :
It doesn't seem to have improved people's manners. It's just given the bullies of the world an anonymous playground in which to hone their craft.
Can't disagree with those sentiments. However, it all comes down to who's using it. And it does allow has also global communities to flourish