She boasts millions of followers across her social media platforms, who eagerly follow news of her humanitarian initiatives, philanthropic efforts, and celebrations of success in Jordan and beyond. So HM Queen Rania Al Abdullah was a natural winner for the Influential Personality of the Year Award at this year’s Arab Social Media Influencers Summit, held in Dubai on Monday.
The Jordanian royal jetted into the city for the occasion, where she was presented with the accolade by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Her Majesty also took to the stage to deliver a stirring keynote address during the third annual summit, where she urged attendees to use platforms for the good of humanity, in an era of “fake news”.
“Online, the plain truth is not appealing enough to be circulated and liked or to command power in the virtual world, despite the fact that it has never been more accessible than today. The truth is losing ground to emotional rhetoric and sensational rumors,” Queen Rania stated. “We owe it to the truth to seek it out and distribute it. It might not be the most appealing or fascinating, but not all that glitters is gold. Let us aim to give truth the final word.”
جلالة الملكة رانيا العبد الله خلال كلمتها في قمة رواد التواصل الاجتماعي العرب. pic.twitter.com/gFb5dBQdU5
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) December 10, 2018
The royal, who launched her first official social media pages back in 2009, also advised those in the crowd to “treasure time and invest it wisely”, in world where it is estimated that the average person will spend over five years of his life on social media. “Social media has achieved much of what we had expected from it, but unfortunately, we still managed to transfer our human barriers to this world,” HM added, exploring how the platforms have changed from spreading hope and connecting humans in a barrier-free landscape. “We now listen not to communicate, but to respond, closing ranks and isolating ourselves among those who resemble us and confirm our own convictions.”
Queen Rania admitted there have been times that she wished social media didn’t exist due to its negativity, but urged influencers and other users to help shift the balance. “You will come across images of people that carry a message; so do not let their pleas go unnoticed,” implored the royal, an advocate for UNICEF and honorary Chairperson for the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative. “Empathize with them… and when humanity looks to you with hope, spend some of your precious time in its service. A share and a like are no substitute for action.”
The solutions for change must come from within, HM stated, calling on influencers to “use your time to break barriers and open communication channels” and “champion the truth and communicate through values”. “We all seek the approval of others, but sometimes our values require us to march to a different beat, even if that comes at the expense of our popularity,” Queen Rania sagely advised. “We can all agree that we’d rather have a positive impact on one person’s life than receive a million likes. Because while fame and figures are proof of reach, real influence is the product of actions spurred by our conscience.”